Sydney Sixers need import Jason Roy to fire against the Strikers. Picture: AAP
Sydney Sixers need import Jason Roy to fire against the Strikers. Picture: AAP

Strikers see off late Sixers charge

ALEX Carey pushed his claims for Australian selection by carrying his bat through the innings as the Adelaide Strikers won their opening two matches of a BBL campaign for just the third time with victory over Sydney Sixers.

With national selector Mark Waugh declaring the 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman is "close'' to an Australian call-up before he stepped onto the SCG on Thursday night, Carey showcased his considerable skill with a brilliant, unbeaten 83 off 59 balls to lead his team to a thrilling six-run victory against the winless Sydney Sixers.

Carey, who top scored with 44 for the Strikers in their opening round win against the Sydney Thunder, was the star of the night's show as Travis Head's outfit held off the fast-finishing Sixers.

Alex Carey top scored for the Adelaide Strikers with an unbeaten 83 off 59 balls.
Alex Carey top scored for the Adelaide Strikers with an unbeaten 83 off 59 balls.

Chasing 3/167, Sydney needed 41 off its last 14 balls and nearly got there with some late big hitting from bowlers Steve O'Keefe (28 from 15 balls) and Ben Dwarshuis (21 off 11) before Michael Neser bowled O'Keefe on the final delivery.

"It got a bit too close for comfort there but Neser showed his class and in the end it was a great result,'' Head said.

Carey's maiden BBL 50 came off 39 balls and he then took a brilliant left-handed catch while keeping to dismiss Sixers' danger man Nic Maddinson for a duck.

His performance prompted Waugh to reveal just how close he is to representing Australia at Test or limited-overs level.

"He's a very good young keeper who has certainly come under discussion for Australia in all formats, including the Test arena,'' said Waugh.

Getting terrific support from Tasmanian Jonathan Wells (33 not out off 19), the Strikers - sent into bat by a Sixers team that lost captain Moises Henriques before the game through illness - made an impressive score before tearing through the home side's top order.

Afghan spin sensation Rashid Khan impressed for the second consecutive game with 2/22 from his four overs.

The Strikers started the match badly when they lost opener Jake Weatherald (0) in the first over but Carey and Head then combined brilliantly for a 54-run partnership in seven overs that included three sixes in four balls - two from Carey and one from the skipper.

 

Head's enterprising innings of 29 off 24 balls came to an end when he was stumped down the leg side by Sam Billings off the bowling of stand-in captain Johan Botha.

Star South African import Colin Ingram then unluckily fell for 15 off 15 balls after edging a pull shot into his helmet and seeing the ball rebound to Jason Roy at point.

Wells then joined Carey for a crucial 74-run partnership off 43 balls, hitting a towering 104-metre six off the second last ball that landed on top of the Bill O'Reilly Stand.

The Strikers' next match is their New Year's Eve Adelaide Oval blockbuster against the Brisbane Heat, which boasts Bash Brothers Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn.



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