The match in a tweet: Sixers continue to silence doubters as they trounce the defending champions in Sydney #BBL08
The score: Adelaide Strikers 8-124 (Lehmann 46; Dwarshuis 3-7, Abbott 2-25) lost to Sydney Sixers 2-130 (Henriques 61no, Hughes 51no; Neser 1-11) by eight wickets with 35 balls to spare
The hero: Sydney Sixers paceman Ben Dwarshuis delivered a career-best spell as he strangled Adelaide Strikers to help set up his team’s seventh victory of BBL|08. The left-armer claimed the big wickets of Jake Weatherald, Jake Lehmann and Jonathan Wells, returning 3-7 from a frugal spell of bowling and helping restrict the Strikers to 8-124. It was the fourth most economical spell in BBL history – Mitchell Johnson holds top spot with 3-3 in January 2017 – and most economical by a Sixers bowler. Dwarshuis’ haul took his season tally to 12 wickets at 25.08. He is behind Sean Abbott (18 wickets), Steve O’Keefe (17) and Tom Curran (16), underlining the strength of the Sixers’ attack.
The supporting cast: Sixers skipper Moises Henriques could have easily been the hero, the experienced batsman hammering a whirlwind 61 not out from 31 balls to seal victory for the home side. Henriques’ third half-century of BBL|08 featured four sixes and five boundaries and he combined with the classy Daniel Hughes (51 not out from 44) for an unbroken 106-run partnership. Hughes has a touch of class about him and the Sixers opener delivered another innings of substance at the SCG, also posting his third half-century of the tournament. After the Sixers lost Josh Philippe and James Vince early, Hughes and Henriques were ice cool under pressure, ensuring their team continued their push for a semi-final spot. It was a top-quality performance from two of the Sixers’ dangermen.
The consolation act: After reaching double figures just once in his first five innings of BBL|08 and dealing with the disappointment of being dropped from the Strikers’ XI, Lehmann has rebounded with back-to-back scores of 40 or more. His run-a-ball 46 may have saved his team from the ignominy of posting a total below 100. Lehmann hit five boundaries and was the only batsmen to fire before Michael Neser’s cameo (31 from 21 balls) at the end of the innings.
The run out: Alex Carey was run out for a remarkable fourth time from nine innings in BBL|08 after a mix up with opening partner Jake Weatherald. Carey was dismissed in the first over of the match for four in a stay which lasted just three balls. The wicketkeeper-batsman has passed 50 twice in a frustrating tournament.
The champs: This defeat left the Strikers with a 4-7 win-loss record, meaning they will probably need to win their remaining three home-and-away fixtures to have a shot at back-to-back titles. They will tackle Hobart Hurricanes, Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat in the run home.
The next stops: The Strikers will next face the ladder-leading Hurricanes in a replay of last season’s final on Thursday, while the Sixers will meet Sydney Thunder in the Sydney Smash on Saturday.