Recent Match Report – Thunder vs Strikers 37th Match 2023/24


Adelaide Strikers 141 for 1 (M Short 74*, Weatherald 47*) beat Sydney Thunder 140 (Hales, 43, Pope 4-22, Overton 3-26) by nine wickets

Adelaide Strikers captain Matt Short steered his side to the BBL finals with a quality innings to down the Sydney Thunder.

In sealing a spot in the top four, Short clubbed a brilliant 74 not out as Strikers chased Thunder’s 140 with nine wickets and 23 balls to spare at Manuka Oval on Sunday night.

They’ll face Perth Scorchers or the Sydney Sixers in an elimination final and they take some serious form there, having won four straight games.

Legspinner Lloyd Pope (4-22) and quick Jamie Overton (3-26) led a strong bowling night for Strikers, with regular wicket-taking ensuring Thunder couldn’t get set in a stuttering innings.

In comparison, Short looked unstoppable from the moment he strode into the middle, quickly showing the sort of form that’s seen him smash six half-centuries in nine innings.

Such was Short’s dominance, he deposited two enormous sixes out of the Manuka Oval precinct, while No. 3 Jake Weatherald was in similar touch with four sixes in his unbeaten 47.

Things could have been different for Thunder, with David Warner dropping a difficult catch offered by Short off the first ball of the innings.

Short praised his team’s ability to hit their straps at the pointy-end of the competition.

“We made it pretty hard for ourselves the last few games obviously having to win the last four or five to keep our hopes alive,” he told reporters. “Very happy with the boys, we hit form at the right time and I’m looking forward to next week. We were at the bottom of the ladder at some stage there, to turn that around and get the wins and make the finals, it’s a real credit to the boys.”

Short’s remarkable batting form, which has earned him a call-up to the Australian ODI side, is sure to be a trump card for Strikers in finals.

“I’ve always put a big emphasis on starting the tournament well, getting a bit of momentum early on and rolling through, which I think I did pretty well,” he said. “The challenge was to sustain that which I haven’t in the last couple of years, I’ve finished tournaments pretty poorly. I’m pretty proud of being able to go on with the tournament and the start I had.”

Batting first, Thunder opener Alex Hales looked to take the game away from the Strikers, but legspinner Cameron Boyce produced a perfect leg-break that gained an edge to turn the match on its head.

Contributions lower down the order from skipper Chris Green and Matt Gilkes helped the Thunder build a somewhat respectable score, before they were bowled out with four balls to spare.

Top-order players Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Ollie Davies all fell cheaply. Spinner Pope did his part in cleaning up Thunder’s tail, including bowling Green and Nathan McAndrew in consecutive balls. He didn’t get his hat-trick but settled for the next best thing, knocking over Liam Hatcher a ball later.

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