A superb 96-run partnership off 52 balls between Jake Weatherald and Ryan Gibson powered Adelaide Strikers to a much-needed 60-run victory against bottom-placed Melbourne Renegades at Adelaide Oval.
In trouble at 4-72 after 11 overs, Weatherald joined Gibson, who had yet to face a delivery, at the crease and after steadying the ship, they smashed 62 from the final four overs as the Strikers’ posted their highest score of the season, 5-171.
Long-time opener Weatherald – pushed down the order to No. 6 after making a quickfire 34 at No. 5 against the Sixers on Sunday – cracked 51 from only 25 deliveries, with four sixes.
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Former New South Wales first-class batsman Gibson, who is in Adelaide trying to gain a Redbacks contract, scored a classy, unbeaten 43 from 31 balls in a partnership that changed the momentum of the match.
The Renegades, who had lost six consecutive games and were without key batsmen Shaun Marsh (personal reasons) and Rilee Rossouw (hamstring), were always on the back foot in their run chase after captain Aaron Finch was unluckily dismissed on the first ball of their innings.
Just two days after being run out at the non-striker’s end against the Scorchers when paceman Jason Behrendorff got a hand to a Marsh drive, Finch edged a leg glance through to a diving Alex Carey behind the stumps off Harry Conway’s first ball in BBL10.
Carey took another spectacular catch later in the innings when he ran backwards towards fine leg to haul in a skied ball from Mackenzie Harvey (34) as the Renegades lost their last nine wickets for just 44 to be bowled out for 111.
English spinner Danny Briggs was the pick of the Strikers bowlers with 2-17 from four overs while pacemen Wes Agar and Peter Siddle each captured three wickets.
Adelaide’s convincing victory snapped consecutive seven-wicket defeats to the Scorchers and Sixers and squared its win-loss record at 4-4.
LACK OF SALT
Hard-hitting Englishman Phil Salt’s troubles at the top of the batting order for the Strikers continued against the Renegades.
Salt was out for eight in the fourth over after pulling a Kane Richardson delivery straight down Beau Webster’s throat at deep mid-wicket.
It was Salt’s fifth single-figure score in eight innings in BBL10 and third on the trot.
After making 51 against the Perth Scorchers last Monday, Salt has made only 13 in his past three knocks.
He has scored 131 in eight innings for the campaign at a disappointing average of 16.
RENEGADES’ TRIPLE TREAT
The Strikers’ lost their way with the bat by losing three wickets for four runs in 10 balls in the 10th and 11th overs.
Matt Renshaw (35), Jon Wells (2) and captain Alex Carey (24) fell in quick succession to Mohammad Nabi and Imad Wasim as the score quickly went from 1-68 to 4-72.
All three were caught close to the boundary with undisciplined shots.
Finch was a deadeye dick with his trusty left arm in the field except when it really mattered.
He hit the target with his first two throws at the stumps, including one from side-on, but both times the Strikers’ batsmen had made their ground at the non-striker’s end.
But when Finch found Gibson well short of his ground in the 18th over with the score on 4/129, his side-on throw from mid-off missed by the narrowest of margins.
It was a costly miss as Gibson powered his way to an unbeaten 43 as the home side finished its innings strongly.