Strikers v Thunder
Saturday, 1 February
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide – 7:10pm local
Televised live on Channel Seven, Fox Cricket and Kayo
Radio broadcast via Macquarie and Crocmedia
Head to head
Adelaide Strikers: 6
Sydney Thunder: 5
No result: 2
It was another New Year’s Eve epic at Adelaide Oval. The Strikers almost snared a remarkable victory, courtesy of an incredible knock at the death from Rashid Khan. His personal-best 40 off only 18 balls left Adelaide needing a boundary off the final ball to win the match, but instead it was a Callum Ferguson-inspired Thunder who walked away with the points.
Both teams come into Saturday night’s clash with strong momentum. The Strikers notched their highest Big Bash score in club history (8/207) against the Hurricanes last weekend and, although the ‘Canes took victory, will be pleased with their line of form coming into finals with four wins from their past five outings. The Thunder have now won two in a row with their 5/197 in Thursday night’s ‘Eliminator’ against Hobart the biggest total of their BBL|09 campaign.
Reliable batsman Jon Wells could reach a couple of deserved milestones if things go his way during BBL Finals. He’s just 58 runs away from becoming the fourth Striker to score 1,000 BBL runs for the club and currently boasts an average of 42.81 – the highest of Adelaide’s top eight BBL runscorers – in his 40 matches in blue. Wells is also closing in on a top-five spot in BBL’s all-time runscorers leaderboard with 1,756 runs inclusive of his time with the Hurricanes. Sixth-ranked D’Arcy Short (1,764), fifth-ranked Glenn Maxwell (1,805 at time of writing) and fourth-ranked Shaun Marsh (1,884) are all in sight.
Striker to watch – Phil Salt
Salt is heating up nicely at the right end of the tournament with back-to-back half-centuries in addition to his continued brilliance in the field. He’s the only player in the competition this summer to boast a strike rate over 160 with more than 350 runs to their name, such has been his aggression at the top of the order. The Welsh-born batsman has the tools to play a big role for the Strikers in the BBL Finals.
Danger player – Alex Hales
Former Striker Hales became the second player to notch 500 runs this season with a fifth half-century in the Thunder’s Eliminator victory over the Hurricanes. Arguably one of the biggest hitters in world cricket, the 31-year-old Englishman sets the tone for the Thunder at the top of the order and will be a key wicket for the Strikers on Saturday night.
Adelaide Strikers squad
Travis Head (c)
Sydney Thunder squad
Callum Ferguson (c)