Twenty20 cricket was not new to Australia but the new-look Big Bash franchise system took it to a new level, featuring eight city-based franchises instead of the six State teams which had competed in previous seasons.
The Adelaide Strikers launched their inaugural season at Adelaide Oval against the Melbourne Renegades and started with a big win in front of 11,760 fans.
Dan Harris and captain Michael Klinger were the first two batters in the middle for the Strikers, with Harris facing the first ball from fellow South Australian Shaun Tait after the Renegades won the toss and elected to field.
Both openers kicked off their BBL campaigns with a busy opening stand of 86 off the first 10 overs, before Harris (49) was dismissed by Renegades bowler Aaron Heal.
Klinger soon after was dismissed for an explosive 46, which paved the way for Callum Ferguson and Aiden Blizzard to continue the onslaught. Blizzard (30) kept the run-rate high before Adam Crosthwaite (15) and Cam Borgas (28 not out from nine balls) cleared the rope in consecutive overs, smashing 41 off 12 balls including two huge sixes off Tait to close out the Strikers’ innings at 5/189 from 20 overs.
South African signing Alfonso Thomas bowled the first over for the Strikers but it was spinner Aaron O’Brien who claimed the first wicket, removing Aaron Finch with his third delivery.
The Renegades struggled throughout their innings to keep the Strikers’ total in reach, limping to 3/62 off their first 10 overs. With the required run-rate rising to almost 13 an over at the halfway point of the match, the Renegades couldn’t string a partnership together, folding for 122 in the 18th over.
Fast bowler Kane Richardson was the standout with the ball for the Strikers, taking 3/27 including the big wicket of Shahid Afridi, while spinners Johan Botha and O’Brien took two wickets each.
Klinger was awarded Man of the Match as the Adelaide Strikers created history, securing their first BBL win by a convincing 67 runs.
Adelaide Strikers, the first team: Michael Klinger (captain), Daniel Harris, Callum Ferguson, Aiden Blizzard, Adam Crosthwaite, Cameron Borgas, Johan Botha, Kane Richardson, Aaron O’Brien, Alfonso Thomas, Nathan Lyon