Adelaide Strikers registered third back to back victory as they beat Melbourne Stars by 23 runs to move to the top four in the points table and keep their hope of making it to the Playoffs alive.
The Strikers were helped by two players of contrasting experience as a newbie Henry Thornton shone with the ball by picking up a four-wicket haul while with the bat it was the warrior Jonathan Wells who came to the rescue of his side like he has done many times in his long BBL career.
Chasing a target of 156, Stars lost the wickets of Glenn Maxwell and Joe Clarke, two of its best batters so far in the league at the score of only 31 in the fifth over. Marcus Stoinis, who hasn’t been in great touch in the league so far, faltered once again as he was removed for one by leggie Fawad Ahmed. Beau Webster failed as well and Stars were 37-4 all of a sudden in the seventh over.
Joe Burns and Hilton Cartwright built a 42 run stand for the fifth wicket and it seemed like Stars were getting back in it before Peter Siddle got through the defences of Burns. Clint Hinchliffe tried his best to stay on with Cartwright who was trying to keep the green brigade in the context, having built yet another 42 run stand.
But with 35 required from 13 balls, Hinchcliffe tried one shot too many and was caught by Thomas Kelly off Harry Conway. In the very next over, Thornton got rid of Cartwright and Sam Rainbird to make it almost impossible for Stars to have any shot at the victory. With just five runs coming in the last over, the Melbourne side could only get to 132 and lost the game by 23 runs.
Earlier in the day, after losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Strikers lost Matt Renshaw early on. But Matthew Short’s quickfire 33 off 22, combined with a brilliant 73 off 49 from Wells eventually got Strikers past 150 even as Jake Weatherald and Ian Cockbain took a lot of time to get to just 17 runs each. From the Stars’ viewpoint, it was a relatively good performance with the ball, especially from Rainbird and Hinchliffe who picked two wickets each.
With this win, Strikers have now reached fourth place in the points table and have equal points as Hobart Hurricanes at number five but having played an extra game than them.