The match in a tweet: Englishman Denly departs on a high in Sixers' upset win over defending champions away from home #BBL|08
The score: Adelaide Strikers 5-150 (Weatherald 50, Wells 42no; O’Keefe 2-31) lost to Sydney Sixers 4-152 (Denly 76no, Philippe 30no; Rashid 2-25) by six wickets with 10 balls remaining
The hero: After failing to pass 14 in six innings to start BBL|08, it’s fair to say Sydney Sixers opener Joe Denly needed runs, and he delivered in tonight’s KFC BBL clash at Adelaide Oval. Dropped by Adelaide Strikers allrounder Cameron Valente on 33, the Englishman took full advantage to finish unbeaten on 76 from 60 balls, including eight boundaries and one six. It was Denly’s highest BBL score as the 32-year-old with 27 first-class hundreds showed his class after impressing as a replacement player for the Sixers in BBL|07. He will now turn his attention to international duties with England.
The support cast: Steve O’Keefe continues to cause headaches for opposition batsmen, with the Sixers spinner taking his haul to 13 wickets from seven games after claiming 2-31 from four overs. The left-arm tweaker has not gone wicketless this tournament and boasts an average of 14.46 and incredible strike rate of 12.9. Talented young wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe also impressed, finishing with 30 not out in a match-turning and unbroken 53-run stand with Denly to steer the Sixers to their fourth win of the season.
The consolation act: Jake Weatherald made it back-to-back half-centuries with a classy knock of 50 from 40 balls. After the Strikers lost Alex Carey in the first over, Weatherald took control of proceedings, hitting four boundaries and two sixes. He helped himself to 16 runs in O’Keefe’s first over before being dismissed by the Sixers veteran in the 14th over of the innings. After a slow start to BBL|08, Weatherald has made 121 runs in his past two hits to send a statement to the rest of the competition after hammering a ton in last year’s final.
The turning point: Valente dropped Denly off his own bowling in the 11th over, with Moises Henriques hitting his next delivery for four to salt the wounds. Denly then hit 14 runs off the first three balls of the next over, bowled by Liam O’Connor, to turn the momentum of the contest.
The run out: Carey was caught short of his ground for just one in the first over after the Strikers won the bat flip and elected to bat. Remarkably it was the third time he has been run out from six innings in BBL|08.
The stumping: Carey again. This was incredible work behind the stumps from Australia’s ODI gloveman, and he earned praise from the great Ian Healy.
The shot: Weatherald’s insane cover drive for six deserves another look!
The next stops: The Strikers will next tackle Melbourne Stars at Adelaide Oval on Friday, while the Sixers will face Perth Scorchers at Optus Stadium next Saturday.