Lumb Set To Strike It Rich In Adelaide

Image courtesy of sportinglife.com
Michael Lumb has been in good nick for the Sixers. Image courtesy of sportinglife.com

Most teams would be derailed, somewhat, losing a skipper and all-rounder, all in one, at this stage of the Big Bash. Adelaide’s Johan Botha is out for the next couple of games after injuring a thumb in the win over Perth last start, but the Strikers have found a more than capable replacement in the form of Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan. Not too many Australians would have seen a whole lot of the left-armer, but he is, without doubt, one of the most talented all-rounders in world cricket in every form of the game. The Strikers get a second left-arm orthodox spinner in the squad, too, with tweaker Jon Holland returning from injury.

Adelaide is two-from-two with one no result, and that’s without the world’s No. 1 T20 batsman, Alex Hales , really hitting his straps. He has shown glimpses of his ability in three innings so far, including a rapid-fire 31 in the New Year’s Eve victory over the Scorchers, but to date, he has been upstaged by opening partner Michael Klinger. There is nothing flashy about the way the veteran right-hander goes about his work, but Klinger has scored plenty of runs in the first two Big Bash tournaments and has continued in that vein this time around. He is the second-leading run-scorer in BBL03 and his unbeaten 86 off 55 against Perth was all class.

While everything is going swimmingly for the Strikers, the Sixers looked like falling to a 1-2 record in Brisbane the other night until Jordan Silk took one of the most spectacular catches seen in this country. The airborne one-hander at full stretch off a Craig Kieswetter missile changed the course of that match, as Sydney went on to win by just four runs. Almost as amazing was the fact Brett Lee took two wickets (although the Silk catch stopped the ball from putting a dent in to the advertising hoarding at long on), but the unsung hero for the visitors was left-arm paceman Josh Lalor who was miserly in snapping up 1/18 off four very good overs.

For the second game in a row, the Sixers top order failed to fire, apart from Englishman Michael Lumb . He scored a match-winning 56 off 42 in a match where runs were a little hard to come by. When these teams met at the Adelaide Oval last season, Sydney set a below-par 135 thanks mainly to Ashes hero Steve Smith. Shaun Tait was the destroyer taking 2/13 off three cheap overs. That target was quickly gobbled up by the Strikers who won with nine wickets and 25 balls in hand.

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