BBL 2016-17, Match 29 Review: Ish Sodhi powers Adelaide Strikers to comprehensive victory in dead rubber

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Player of the match Ish Sodhi
Player of the match Ish Sodhi of the Strikers poses for a photo. (Photo by Brett Hemmings – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

In a dead rubber between the two bottom-placed sides in the tournament, Adelaide Strikers defeated the Sydney Thunder quite comprehensively by 77 runs to salvage some of their lost pride. Both the teams were nowhere close to their best throughout the tournament and it reflects on the points table. The Strikers rode on a beautiful 65 by opener Ben Dunk to reach a competitive 178/5 in their allotted overs.

In reply, the hosts kept losing wickets at regular intervals and apart from Kurtis Patterson and Shane Watson no one could go beyond double figures. It was one of the most dramatic collapses as they were bowled out for 101 after being comfortably placed at 79/2 at one stage.

Sydney Thunder captain Shane Watson won the toss and put the visitors in. Openers Tim Ludeman and Ben Dunk went off to a steady start with both hitting some crisp boundaries. Ludeman failed to convert his start into a big one as he gave away his wicket in only the 4th over of the innings of the bowling of Carlos Brathwaite. Captain Brad Hodge joined Dunk in the middle and began with a scorching cover drive of the 2nd ball of his innings.

Dunk followed it up with a monstrous six in the very next over of Chris Green and the signs were ominous for the Sydney Thunder. Shane Watson was smashed for a couple of boundaries in the 6th over by Ben Dunk as the southpaw slowly but steadily gained in confidence. The left-hander then struck a six of Fawad Ahmed in the 8th over which just evaded the fielder stationed in the deep. Brad Hodge, on the other hand, played the sheet anchor’s role and was dismissed in the 13th over after scoring 32 balls 39.

The innings was yet to gain momentum but with Kieron Pollard in the middle, the big Caribbean all-rounder turned the game on it’s head. Pollard began with a big six of Fawad Ahmed in the 14th over and from there the onslaught never stopped. He kept belting the bowlers all around the SCG and eventually remained unbeaten on 47 of just 22 deliveries. His innings didn’t contain a single four but he smashed 5 gigantic sixes. The Strikers eventually finished at 178/5 in their allotted 20 overs. Shane Watson was the pick of the Thunder bowlers who finished with 2/42 in 4 overs.

The hosts had a horrendous start to their chase as they lost their opener James Vince in the 2nd delivery of the 2nd over. Captain Shane Watson joined Kurtis Patterson in the middle and began with a boundary in the final delivery of the same over. Shane Watson upped the ante in the 6th over of the innings of the bowling of Kieron Pollard. The hard-hitting all-rounder was smashed for three fours and a gigantic six which set the things rolling for the hosts.

Watson was eventually dismissed in the 8th over by Jake Lehmann after failing to execute a pull short of a short delivery. It was a crucial wicket on the context of the game which always started a dramatic collapse for the Thunders. Patterson soon followed Watson to the dressing room in the 11th over and from there on it was a procession of sorts. Wickets kept tumbling one after the other as the hosts failed to consolidate on their start provided by Patterson and Watson. They lost their last 8 wickets within 4 overs to surrender the match to the Adelaide Strikers.

It was an exceptional display of leg-spin bowling by Kiwis spinner Ish Sodhi. He literally kept on bamboozling the opposition with his variations and wrecked havoc among the middle and the lower middle order. He eventually brought down the curtains on Thunder’s challenge at 101 in 15.3 overs and finished with mind-boggling figures of 6/11 in 3.3 overs. His googly was coming out of the hand perfectly which caused a lot of problems to the opposition batsmen.

Despite their victory, the Adelaide Strikers won’t be able to go through to the Semi-Final after losing 5 matches in the league stage. They will be happy with the fact that they signed off the tournament with a comprehensive victory.

Brief Scores

Adelaide Strikers 178/5 in 20 overs (Ben Dunk 65, Kieron Pollard 47, Shane Watson 2/42)

Sydney Thunder 101 all-out in 15.3 overs (Shane Watson 39, Ish Sodhi 6/11)

Adelaide Strikers won by 77 runs


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