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Sixers far too good for Strikers

By Chris Pike
5 January 2014 10:46PM EST

A GOOD start with the ball and then terrific knock from Englishman Michael Lumb has seen the Sydney Sixers comfortably account for the Adelaide Strikers at the Adelaide Oval.

The Strikers came into the Big Bash League clash on Sunday at the Adelaide without captain Johan Botha with a broken thump as Phil Hughes took over running the team. 

He won the toss and decided to bat first but it was the Sixers who started well with the Strikers slumping to 4-32 in the eight over after terrific bowling from Josh Hazlewood.

Nathan Reardon (43 from 29 balls) and Bangladesh debutant Shakib Al Hasan (46 from 30) at least helped Adelaide reach a competitive 7-149 from the 20 overs, but it still seemed well below par on a good Adelaide Oval pitch.

Even though the Sixers lost Nic Maddinson in the second over, Lumb set up the victory with his 54 from 41 balls with help from Marcus North (38), Moises Henriques (26) and Ravi Bopara (23 not out) as Sydney cruised to 4-150 with six wickets and five balls to spare.

The win is the Sixers' second straight and third from four matches this BBL campaign while it is the first loss in four matches for the Strikers after two wins and a no-result due to rain.

The Strikers' top-order had been firing in their opening two BBL wins with Michael Klinger, Alex Hales, Hughes and Callum Ferguson there, but that impressive top-four were all out in less than eight overs on Sunday against the Sixers.

First to go was Klinger for one when caught by Henriques from the bowling of Steve O'Keefe before Hales fell for eight, caught Bopara off Josh Lalor, Hughes for 12, bowled by North, and Ferguson for five when caught behind off Hazlewood.

The Strikers were then in trouble at 4-32 in the eighth over before Reardon and Bangladesh all-rounder Al Hasan came together, and put together a tremendous partnership of 80 from just 56 balls.

Al Hasan hit some terrific shots in his 46 from 30 balls with three fours and two sixes before he was out in the 16th over with the Strikers' score 5-112.

Reardon kept going, though, for Adelaide eventually making 43 from 29 balls with three fours and two sixes before being run out in the 19th over.

Michael Neser (7) and Kane Richardson (8) then got the Strikers to 7-149 off their 20 overs.

Hazlewood was the star with the ball for the Sixers with 3-16 from four overs with O'Keefe taking 1-18 from two, Lalor 1-35 from four, North 1-12 from two, Brett Lee 0-31 from four, Bopara 0-17 from two and Henriques 0-18 from two.

The Sixers' innings didn’t get off to an ideal start with Maddinson caught by Michael Neser off Shaun Tait when he took on a fast short ball, but it didn’t do a lot to help the cause of the home side.

Henriques came out to join Lumb at the crease and after receiving a life when dropped by Klinger off Tait when he was nine and the score was 1-23, the Sixers captain went on to make 26 from 18 balls with five boundaries before he was trapped in front off the bowling of Al Hasan.

Lumb was also given a life that would prove irrecoverably costly when Neser dropped him off his own bowling for 19 with the score 1-41.

Again it didn’t do much good for the Strikers with North coming to the crease to join Lumb and the pair put on another 48 runs before Lumb was out for 54 from 41 deliveries with his innings including five sixes.

North was batting well, though, and was also given a life when dropped by Klinger off Reardon on the boundary with it ending up going for six.

North ended up making 38 from 30 balls before he was out in the 18th over with the score 4-131, but the Sixers were well on track for the win by that stage and Bopara (23 from 19) and Jordan Silk (4 from 4) safely saw them home in the final over.

Al Hasan was the pick of the Sixers bowlers with 2-21 from four overs with Kane Richardson taking 1-29 from 3.1, Tait 1-34 from four, Neser 0-19 from four, Adam Zampa 0-29 from three and Reardon 0-17 from one.

 

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