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Match Report: Strikers v Heat

13 January 2022

Rashid Khan has farewelled BBL|11 with the remarkable figures of 6/17, the mercurial leg-spinner’s best figures in T20 cricket and the third best in Big Bash history.

Twice on a hat-trick, Rashid was unplayable throughout his spell as he guided the Strikers to a crucial 71-run triumph over Brisbane Heat. Such was his dominance, the name Khan appears consecutively on the Heat scorecard six times to perfectly illustrate the match winning performance.

Taking all four points from the clash, the Strikers jump to fifth in the standings, placing them right back in the hunt for a Finals berth. Unfortunately for the Adelaide side, Rashid now departs Australian shores for international duty and will be watching from afar as they attempt to consolidate their late charge.

Quick bowler Henry Thornton was another brilliant story from the victory, taking 1/12 from his first three overs in blue, including the destruction of Heat captain Chris Lynn’s stumps. Clearly more than capable at the level, and possessing raw speed, Thornton was presented his cap pregame by Peter Siddle and will be looking to add to his tally in the remaining three regular season fixtures.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, the Strikers were unable to fully unleash with the blade, instead accumulating runs with well placed twos and threes to build a respectable total of 4/161. Each player who came to the crease provided a valuable contribution, with Short and Hunt getting the innings off to a strong start before finding support from Weatherald, Wells and Kelly.

Ever the showman, Rashid was promoted to the number five slot in his final game and immediately justified the elevation by crunching back-to-back two sixes to begin his knock. Short and sweet, the 13 runs from four deliveries elevated the run rate and set the tone for what was to come with the ball.

While the other Strikers bowlers didn’t get much of a chance to take wickets as a result of Rash’s rampage, Matt Short again showed his versatility when he opened the bowling and finished with figures of 2/13 from his three overs.

The night belonged to Rashid however, securing Player of the Match honours and ending his BBL|11 stint on the most incredible note possible. Leaving as the competition’s leading wicket-taker, the Afghanistan international’s fifth season with the Strikers has been another full of fun, excitement and of course, piles of wickets.

The Strikers now return to Adelaide ahead of the annual Jason Gillespie Trophy First Nations match against Perth Scorchers on Friday.