Not too long ago, Adelaide Strikers had lost six straight matches and appeared a lost cause and a side that certainly won’t be making the playoffs.
That scenario has now changed, thanks to three victories in their last four games as they appear to have found a winning formula right when it mattered.
They have also had some help from Covid and other matters, which had sidelined league leaders Perth Scorchers’ six players in their clash on Friday. Resultantly, the weakened Perth side could only muster 127 for 9 in a meek and weak batting display. The Strikers got to that total with ease, thanks to their top three finding runs.
The star of the show, however, was Fawad Ahmed, who took over leg-spin duties from Rashid Khan and did a pretty decent job with a three-for, two of which were set Perth batters from the top order.
Melbourne Stars avenged the defeat of their earlier loss to Melbourne Renegades in their reverse fixture on Thursday. In the process, they also consigned the Gades to their familiar last spot on the points table and also snatched away bragging rights from their troubled city rivals.
The win was the doing of a strong bowling performance that restricted the Gades to just 122 for 7. Then, Glenn Maxwell led from the front with an unbeaten 68 to get his team over the line.
One bad news for the Stars is that their star pacer and fan favourite Haris Rauf has now left them to link up with Lahore Qalandars for the Pakistan Super League.
The Stars and Strikers are now direct rivals for the last playoff spots. Thus, this game’s importance is much higher than usual.