Watson, Nair launch

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Sydney Thunder to big win

The Sydney Thunder hammered the Adelaide Strikers by 71 runs at the Showground Stadium in Sydney in the first game of Sunday’s double-header, courtesy a batting implosion around Colin Ingram, folding for a paltry 97, in a chase of 169.Earlier, the host franchise had won the toss and elected to bat on a relatively flat surface. The explosive opening pair of Shane Watson and Anton Devcich got the Thunder off to a flyer, scoring 34 runs off the first 3 overs, before the Strikers introduced their trump card – Rashid Khan. The Afghan picked up the wickets of Devcich and Ferguson in his very first over, proving his skipper’s decision to introduce him in the powerplay a masterstroke.Jason Sanga and Shane Watson led a recovery of sorts, putting on 77 runs for the third wicket, where the former played the sheet anchor role while Watson started to accelerate. Sangha’s dismissal triggered another mini-collapse, as the Thunder lost four wickets for 24 runs, including skipper Shane Watson for a vital 40-ball 68. Chris Green and Jay Lenton cut loose at the death, lacing 30 off 13 balls to lift the Thunder to a competitive 168.
The Strikers’ innings never really took off, as they lost their top three for 26 runs, before a 49-run partnership between Colin Ingram and Jonathan Wells. This, however, proved to be a false dawn as Wells’ wicket triggered a dramatic collapse – 7 wickets for 22 runs, as the Thunder romped home by 71 runs. Arjun Nair was the pick of the bowlers, picking up three wickets for 12 runs, as the remaining six bowlers picked up a wicket each.
The victory solidified the Thunder’s position in the top half of the table (second position), despite going in without two of their England nationals (Root and Buttler). On the other hand, the Strikers continue to claw their way into the top half, as they sit precariously at the 5th spot on the points table.