BBL 2021-22: Strikers Beat Thunder To Advance To ‘Challenger’

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Ian Cockbain
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The Knockout Match of Big Bash League 2021-22 is all set to play between Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers on 23rd January at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – Melbourne. Both sides have stepped in with much confidence from their last outings. As the show began,  Adelaide Strikers have won the toss and have opted to bat against the Sydney Thunder.

The Strikers’ opening batsmen, Alex Carey, and Matthew Short have made a flying start by hammering the ball to cover the entire park, but then comes Tanveer Sangha into the attack to get the first breakthrough for the Thunders’ in the form of Alex Carey 23 (14). And then, Ian Cockbain steps in to join Matt Short to build a crucial wicket-to-wicket partnership.

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Strikers lost a crucial wicket but did not lose momentum as Short and Cockbain resumed the initiative for a strong partnership also bringing confidence towards the next phase. Thunders skipper Usman Khawaja, on the other hand, has been used all of his powerful guns to restrict the flow of runs and end the innings as quickly as possible for a low-run chase. As the captain tactics seemed successful when Jason Sangha grabbed Matthew Short 39 (28) to get the 2nd breakthrough and Gurinder Sandhu picked Travis Head 3(6) to get the 3rd breakthrough for the Thunders’ letting Strikers into trouble.

Ian Cockbain Awarded The Player of the Match

Despite losing three wickets, Strikers batsman Ian Cockbain at no.3 remained strong for the team, punishing Jason Sangha’s deliveries to make his half-century (53 off 31). As a result, Cockbain’s knock resumed the momentum and boosted Strikers’ prospects of setting a challenging goal for the Thunders’, but the hopes couldn’t sustain for a long duration as McAndrew comes in attack to pick Ian Cockbain 65 (38) and T Sangha bags his 2nd wicket in the form of Jonathan Wells 18 (12) putting Strikers’ under pressure. Matt Renshaw 15* (9) and Thomas Kelly 16 (13) are the last batsmen for Adelaide Strikers to finish the batting to set a 185-run mark for the Sydney Thunders.

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The Sydney Thunders’ seemed to be on track on their run chase set by the Adelaide Strikers, despite losing their opening batter Alex Hales 9 (9), who surrendered for Henry Thornton to hand the first breakthrough for the side. The Thunders’ captain Usman Khawaja and Jason Sangha are on course to chase the lofty goal upon establishing a crucial wicket-wicket partnership.

Meanwhile, Strikers captain Peter Siddle, brought the best out of their bowlers to get the initial breakthroughs, which went successful when Matthew Short scooped up the 2nd breakthrough for the side in the shape of Usman Khawaja 23 (17).

Despite losing a couple of wickets, Thunder batsmen Jason Sangha and Alex Ross seemed to be on track to form a crucial partnership to advance to the challenger. As the equation nears, each teams’ desire to win the game reached the peaks. While Sydney Thunder appeared to be on course to accomplish their lofty goal. Whereas Adelaide Strikers with strong players in their pool, tried to seize every opportunity they get. Meanwhile, Jason Sangha reached his half-century in 37 deliveries, which boosted the confidence for  Thunders’ to be alive in the competition.

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Jason Sangha and Alex Ross pushed the side to a 90-run partnership in 60 deliveries, fueling hopes for the Sydney Thunders. However, the hopes vanished when Peter Siddle came in to attack to pick Jason Sangha 61 (43), who appeared to be aggressive with his angled bat, and Daniel Sams, the unsettled batsman. Alex Ross appeared to be the lone batsman left out in the top-order, whose destructive efforts included a half-century in 36 deliveries to keep the hopes alive to some extent. Surprisingly, Harry Conway got his 2nd and made the crucial breakthrough in the heated battle upon bagging Alex Ross 56 (39) and shifted the course of the game in Strikers’ favour to win the match by 6 runs.

Despite both sides bringing up all the brilliant efforts in action, the Adelaide Strikers have had the upper hand to win the Knockout stage against the Sydney Thunder. And the Strikers will now face the Sydney Sixers in the ‘Challenger’ on Wednesday, January 26.

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