Shane Watson has wound back the clock to lead the Sydney Thunder to a 71-run thumping of the Adelaide Strikers, igniting their KFC BBL season.
The former Test opener smashed 68 off 40 balls in a captain’s knock to fire his side to 6-168 before the Strikers were rolled for just 97 at Spotless Stadium on Sunday.
Not only was it an important mental victory after routing the defending champions, they also jumped the Strikers into the top four.
Watson plundered four fours and five sixes in what was his first half-century of the tournament and said smashing the ball onto the roof against the Heat last week had proved something to himself.
“I’d been mis-hitting the ball for the last couple of games,” Watson said.
“That was definitely the catalyst to know that I’ve still got it. I had a couple of training days in the lead up which was good to work on things from a technical point of view. It all clicked today.”
Spinner Arjun Nair starred for the Thunder with the ball, taking 3-12 in including the wicket of Colin Ingram (48) – the only Adelaide batsman to pass 11.
After Jono Wells was stumped off Chris Green for 11, the Strikers collapsed, losing their last six wickets for 22 runs.
The Thunder chose to omit Jono Cook – who was coming off a 3-27 return against the Brisbane Heat – because of team balance after the departure of Englishmen Jos Buttler and Joe Root.
However they bowled out the Strikers in 17.4 overs for an important two points to give their all-important net run rate a big boost. Not much went right for the Adelaide Strikers in their pursuit of 169, with wickets falling at regular intervals throughout.
The comic run out of Billy Stanlake brought the match to a fitting end, with the lanky bowler’s bat jamming short of the crease and effectively pole vaulting him over it.
His head’s five yards in’: Billy Stanlake’s hilarious run-out fail
Poor old Billy Stanlake has suffered one of the most embarrassing run-outs in BBL history.
The Adelaide Strikers paceman was called on to provide some runs with the bat on Saturday in his side’s big loss to Sydney Thunder.
But unfortunately it ended in a bit of a disaster. Stanlake was at the non-striker’s end when Liam O’Connor called him through for a quick single.
Stanlake looked like he was going to make his ground easily, until his bat got stuck in the ground as he was sliding it in. The big man dropped his bat as it snagged in the turf, taking a hilarious swan dive over the crease.
Unfortunately his bat never made it to the crease and his final step before jumping was also short of his ground.
When Thunder keeper Jay Lenton took the bails off Stanlake had his whole body over the crease but in mid-air.
Just wait for the replay… 😂😂
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 13, 2019
“His head’s five yards in,” Kerry O’Keeffe laughed in commentary.
“That sums it up for the Adelaide Strikers today,” Adam Gilchrist added.