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article imageAdelaide victorious in thrilling encounter in the Big Bash

By Ed Robinson     Dec 31, 2015 in Sports
A brilliant century from Travis Head ensured that it was the Adelaide Strikers who brought in the new year in stunning fashion with a victory over the Sydney Sixers by five wickets at the Adelaide Oval.
In a touch-and-go encounter that seemed to be going the way of the Sydney Sixers, Travis Head stole the show with an inspired 101 knock in which the Australian batsman hit three consecutive sixes in the 19th Over, taking him over the milestone and seeing the Strikers home with three deliveries to spare.
Sydney Sixers were put into bat by Strikers captain Brad Hodge and made a great start in the six-over power play, making 51 runs for the loss of no wickets as Michael Lumb notched 30 (21) and season debutante Ed Cowan, who replaced the injured Captain Moses Henriques, on 20 (15). Lumb fell shortly after off the bowling of Hamish Kingston. Cowan eventually made 43 off 32 before being caught by Travis Head off the bowling of Jon Holland (21/1 off 4).
Nic Maddinson was trapped lbw by Adil Rashid the very next delivery leaving the Sixers 66/2. Jordan Silk and Ryan Carters also failed to impress with the bat and were dismissed by Rashid who shone with the ball for Adelaide taking three wickets and conceding 34 runs from his four overs.
Brad Haddin produced the standout innings for the Sixers making 54 off 35 deliveries (4 sixes) and Johan Botha also delivered with a quick fire 38 off 20 deliveries, hitting four boundaries and one maximum, meaning Sydney set a competitive total of 176 after their 20 overs.
Sixers batsman and wicket Keeper Brad Haddin was forced onto the sidelines for the second innings through injury and in reply, Adelaide opener Craig Simmons raced to 25 off 15 balls before he was caught off the bowling off Jackson Bird at the beginning of the fourth over. Mahela Jayawardene was the next to fall before the end of the power play as Adelaide edged to 55 runs.
A slow run rate and the loss of the wickets of Tim Ludeman (26), Alex Ross (17) and Brad Hodge (1), left Adelaide needing 51 runs from the final 18 deliveries. In stepped Head, who targeted fast bowler Shaun Abbott in the 18th over, striking 27 runs. Abbott finished on unprecedented figures of 1 wicket/ 57 runs off 3.3 overs.
Head struck maximum's in the first three balls Abbot's final over to complete his century and deliver the victory for the Adelaide Strikers.
Man of the Match Head was 'delighted to have stepped up to the mark' He said:
"At one stage, I thought we were done there. I hardly felt I contributed to the team this season. With the short boundary, I just decided we'll go there and it came off. I've been really consistent this year.
The win moves Adelaide Strikers to second in the Big Bash standing behind Sydney Thunder with three wins out of four. Defeat means Sydney Sixers are in danger of missing out on qualification to the knockout stages as they are the only side to have played five games, losing three. They face a must win game at Perth Scorchers on Saturday, while Adelaide return to the Adelaide oval to face the Scorchers on Tuesday.
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