Jono Wells fifty and Rashid Khan’s three-for in vain for the Adelaide Strikers
Sydney Sixers 3 for 151 (Vince 45*, Philippe 41, Silk 38*, Rashid 3-18) beat Adelaide Strikers 4 for 150 (Wells 66, Weatherald 34*) by seven wickets
The Sydney Sixers, having lost on Saturday, returned to winning ways with a seven-wicket win against the Adelaide Strikers, thus moving to the top of the BBL 2020-21 points table.
A tidy effort from the Sixers bowlers set the game up by ensuring that the Strikers did not score more than 150 – despite having six wickets in hand – after which Josh Philippe, James Vince and Jordan Silk chipped in with useful contributions to seal the win with two overs to spare.
Rashid Khan returned figures of 3 for 18 for the Strikers, but with no other bowler taking a wicket in the chase, the Sixers cruised to victory with few roadblocks.
Sixers draw first blood but Carey, Wells rebuild
After being asked to bat, the Strikers unleashed a new opening pair with Matt Renshaw joining Phil Salt at the top, but both men were dismissed inside nine balls.
Salt was the first to go, out trying to pull Ben Dwarshuis’ short ball, only to top-edge it to midwicket. Renshaw was removed by offspinner Benjamin Manenti, trying to reverse sweep a shot that popped up for the wicketkeeper Philippe to pouch.
That brought in Alex Carey and Jonathan Wells to the middle before the second over was even completed, forcing the Strikers to start a rebuilding process that saw them make only 20 runs inside the four-over Powerplay. Legspinner Lloyd Pope looked menacing, with the ball turning a fair bit, but Carey and Wells saw him off carefully. It was a stand that progressed slowly, with both batsmen having strike-rates of less than 100 for a major part of the partnership. Dan Christian eventually broke the 64-run stand (off 67 balls) in the 13th over when he deceived Carey with a slower ball, which was hit straight to the tall Carlos Brathwaite at mid-on.
Wells, Weatherald finish strong
Jake Weatherald – who has never before batted below No. 3 in T20s – then came in at No. 5 to join Wells, but even with six overs to go the Strikers’ run-rate was less than six.
Then, however, came the charge, and it all started with back-to-back fours from Wells in the 15th over off Dwarshuis. He then cut Manenti through point for another boundary off the 16th with Weatherald handing him the strike when possible. England’s Jake Bell, playing his first game in the BBL, then bore the brunt of Wells and Weatherald’s strokeplay, conceding five fours and two sixes in his last two overs – including a 22-run 20th over. The Strikers scored 71 in their last six overs, on the back of which they reached 150 for 4. Wells – who was out on the last ball of the first innings – made a 56-ball 66 and Weatherald stayed unbeaten on 34 off 24.
Philippe bosses opening salvo
Two boundaries from Philippe off Daniel Worrall’s opening over meant that the Sixers began their innings on a positive note. Philippe then lofted a six over long-on and a four through backward point in the second over from left-arm spinner Danny Briggs to put the Strikers on the back foot. Jack Edwards, his opening partner, then creamed consecutive boundaries off Worrall and by the time the four-over Powerplay was done, the Sixers for 47 for no loss.
Edwards, however, fell next over for a 10-ball 14 when he dragged a Rashid legbreak onto his stumps. Philippe would go on to hit a sweep off Rashid off the Afghan spinner’s next over but was out bowled when he came down the wicket to a delivery that wasn’t full enough. The young wicketkeeper batsman’s 24-ball 41 had earned the Sixers a Bash Boost point, as they crossed the ten-over target of 58 midway through the seventh over.
Vince, Silk take Sixers home
Daniel Hughes at No. 4 was out lbw to Rashid soon after the ten-over mark, but Vince got his eye in with a sedate start that saw him score only 12 runs in his first 15 balls. Once pace returned in the form of Peter Siddle in the 12th over, Vince capitalised by pulling him for six over square leg and a four down the ground.
After Vince and Silk saw off Rashid’s final over, they accelerated. Silk hit four consecutive fours – spread across overs 16 and 17 – off Siddle and Briggs to bring the required run-rate to under four and then cut the last ball of the 18th over for another boundary to seal a seven-wicket win. Vince finished unbeaten on 45 off 33 balls while Silk was not out on 38 off 28.
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo