Strikers v Thunder
Sunday 7 January
Spotless Stadium, Sydney – 7.10pm local (6.40pm ACDT)
Head to head
Adelaide Strikers: 4
Sydney Thunder: 3
No result: 1
The Strikers kicked off their BBL|07 campaign in style with an emphatic 53-run victory over the Thunder at Adelaide Oval.
The home side managed a modest 163 after winning the toss and electing to bat first. Instead, it was the Strikers’ new-look bowling unit which proved the difference in the second innings.
Man of the Match Rashid Khan bowled Ben Rohrer for a duck with a trademark googly and claimed two scalps in his Big Bash debut. New Striker Peter Siddle recorded incredible figures of 2/6 in his first match in blue, while Ben Laughlin (4/26) ripped through the Thunder's middle order with three wickets in four balls to put the result beyond doubt.
How will the side respond after their first loss of the summer?
The Strikers fell for the first time this season in a thriller against Hobart on Friday night. Adelaide was far from disgraced however, and will want to bounce back immediately approaching the midway mark of BBL|07.
Rashid Khan sent a scare through the Strikers camp when he was struck in the calf at Blundstone Arena. The lethal leg-spinner has since been cleared of any serious injury and is free to take on the Thunder on Sunday.
Shane Watson’s men are, ironically, also coming off a loss to the Hurricanes with their last match back on New Year’s Day.
Sunday’s clash is almost a must-win match for the Thunder, who are 2-3 after five games. Another loss could make it tough for the Sydney franchise to wrestle its way into the top four by season’s end.
Who wants it more with so much on the line for both sides?
Striker to watch – Colin Ingram
The Bulldozer is starting to warm up in his first Big Bash season.
Ingram almost steered the Strikers to an incredible comeback in Hobart off the back of an impressive half-century at Blundstone Arena on Friday night, and it took something special in the field from the Hurricanes to finally dismiss him.
The powerful left-hander has reached double figures in all four of his innings and should take great confidence from his performance in Tasmania.
Will ‘Bozie’ be the one to get the Strikers back on track on Sunday in Sydney?
Danger man – Jos Buttler
Thunder wicketkeeper/batsman Jos Buttler looms as a key wicket for Adelaide at Spotless Stadium.
The Englishman, who will play his final match of the tournament this week before joining England’s ODI squad, has scored back-to-back half-centuries in his last two Big Bash matches.
Buttler blasted 81 from just 43 balls, including 12 boundaries, on New Year’s Day against the ‘Canes and is a key part of a powerful Thunder batting lineup.
Captain Shane Watson is the second-biggest run-scorer of BBL|07 with 222 runs. Teammates Buttler (fourth on 181) and Kurtis Patterson (seventh on 139) are also among this season’s leading run-makers.
Travis Head (c)
Alex Carey (wk)
Shane Watson (c)
Jos Buttler (wk)