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Match Report: Strikers v Scorchers

14 January 2022

The Strikers have kept their Finals hopes alive with a strong six-wicket victory over ladder-leading Perth Scorchers at Adelaide Oval to mark the inaugural KFC BBL First Nations Round.

Taking on the responsibility of number one spinner in the absence of Rashid Kahn, Fawad Ahmed was superb with ball in hand, taking three wickets to secure Player of the Match honours in a game that saw each player fulfill their role with aplomb.

The triumph marks the return of the Jason Gillespie Trophy to Adelaide, as the fifth edition of the marquee matchup sees the Strikers take a 3-2 lead over the Scorchers in battles for the stunning prize.

Electing to bowl first, the Strikers were dominant from the outset, taking regular wickets and restricting the usually free-flowing Scorchers to just 9-127 from their allotted overs. In addition to Ahmed’s three crucial strikes, skipper Peter Siddle and mid-season pick-up Henry Thornton were also brilliant, claiming two wickets each.

Matt Short continued his fine run of form, with the long-term Striker reinvigorated this season as both an opening batsman and opening bowler. Remarkably, Short bowled the opening and closing overs of the innings to finish with figures of 1/15, before donning the pads and striding out to the middle with bat in hand.

The powerful right-hander plundered another five boundaries in his cameo of 34 from 28, which in conjunction with Henry Hunt’s 27 formed a half-century opening partnership that ensured the Strikers would come away with the points.

Fresh international recruit Ian Cockbain then showed maturity and class in the number three slot, crashing an unbeaten 35 from 24 to ice the game and push the Strikers back into the top five.

Just 24 hours separates games for the Strikers as they now turn their attention to a huge clash with Melbourne Stars on home turf tomorrow morning. Two sides fighting for the final spot in the postseason, the result will go a long way to determining who will extend their season and battle for the title.