The Adelaide Strikers stayed on top of the BBL table with their sixth victory of the campaign. Elsewhere this week, the Renegades and the Heat both won, but Brisbane are destined not to make the final four next week.
Game 27 – Monday 11 January
Sydney Thunder – 173/5 (20) – Khawaja 62, Watson 62 – Bravo 2-26
Melbourne Renegades – 176/5 (19.2) – White 61, Bravo 47 – Russell 2-42
Melbourne Renegades win by five wickets
Usman Khawaja and Jacques Kallis started off well for the Thunder, putting on 60 in the power play overs. When the South African was out dismissed, Shane Watson came in and started to hit the ball around, and both Australians would go on to reach 62 before losing their wickets. Wickets with the final two balls of the innings stopped the Renegades in their tracks, Darren Bravo the man to do so.
Chris Gayle and Tom Cooper started well, both reaching the 20s, but it was Cameron White and Dwayne Bravo who put the Renegades in with a chance of reaching their 174 target. The captain, White, was out for 61, while Bravo was dismissed for 47, both by Andre Russell. They looked like they might falter but Peter Nevill hit a boundary to get them across the line.
Game 28 – Wednesday 13 January
Hobart Hurricanes – 143 (19.3) – Paine 45, Hill 32 – Neser 3-26, Rashid 2-16, West 2-24, Laughlin 2-31
Adelaide Strikers – 146/4 (20) – Ludeman 57*, Hodge 28 – Milenko 3-25
Adelaide Strikers win by six wickets.
Kumar Sangakkara and Ben Dunk were both out cheaply at the start of the Hurricanes’ innings, Tim Paine provided some stability, along with Matthew Hill. However, despite these two both getting in, wickets kept tumbling through the 20 overs. Adil Rashid, Ben Laughlin and Greg West, on debut, took two wickets, while Michael Neser got the last two to finish with figures of 3-26.
In reply, the Strikers were steady. Jon Dean, Travis Head and Brad Hodge all got in and got out, while the wicketkeeper, Tim Ludeman batted all the way through, keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Simon Milenko took 3-25 for Hobart, but they never had enough runs on the board but it did take a last ball six from Jake Lehmann to secure victory for the Strikers.
Game 29 – Thursday 14 January
Brisbane Heat – 188/7 (20) – Lynn 56, Simmons 44 – Zampa 2-31, Hilfenhaus 2-42
Melbourne Stars – 133/9 (20) – Gulbis 61*, Hussey 25 – Badree 5-22, Lalor 2-21, Swepson 2-29
Brisbane Heat win by 55 runs.
Despite losing JJ Peirson in the first over, the Heat had a fantastic power play. Their captain, Chris Lynn, hit five sixes in a row in his 56 from just 24 balls. Lendl Simmons also hit 44, while Joe Burns, Nathan Reardon and Ben Cutting all got into the 20s before being dismissed, Ben Hilfenhaus and Adam Zampa took two wickets each, but Brisbane hit a mammoth 188.
In reply, the hosts never got going, falling to 23/5 in just five overs. This was thanks to a fantastic spell from Samuel Badree, who finished with figures of 5-22 in his four overs, a career best for him. David Hussey hit 25, while Evan Gulbis was the star of the innings, hitting 61 from 52, but they never looked like getting close, falling 55 runs short of the Heat’s total.
Points Table (through 29 games):
Strikers – 7, 12
Scorchers – 7, 10
Stars – 7, 8
Renegades – 7, 6
Thunder – 7, 6
Heat – 8, 6
Hurricanes – 8, 6
Sixers – 7, 4