Carey stars as Strikers edge Sixers in BBL

Dec 28, 2017 - 12:46 PM Alex Carey has starred with the bat and gloves in the Adelaide Strikers' thrilling six-run Big Bash League victory which has heaped pressure on the winless Sydney Sixers.

Touted as a future Test wicketkeeper, Carey's unbeaten 83 proved the difference maker as the Strikers made 3-167 before the Sixers fell agonisingly short at the SCG on Thursday.

After a top order collapse left the Sixers 4-58 in the ninth over, Ben Dwarshuis (21 off 11 balls) and Stephen O'Keefe (28 off 15 balls) mounted a rescue mission and took the game down to the wire.

Requiring 16 runs off the last over, the match came down to the last delivery with O'Keefe bowled by a Michael Nesser yorker as he attempted to clear the fence.

Jordan Silk smashed a promising 50 off 31 before being bowled by Afghani teen spin sensation Rashid Khan, who recorded figures of 2-22 for the second successive match.

But it was a string of bizarre decisions by the Sixers which will come under scrutiny as they dropped former Australian Test keeper Peter Nevill and elected not to bowl O'Keefe on their way to their third-straight loss.

After skipper Moises Henriques was struck down by illness and replaced in the starting line-up by paceman Dwarshuis, the Sixers omitted Nevill in favour of an extra batting option in Silk for the sake of "team balance".

Last year's beaten finalists now face three tough road matches against the Perth Scorchers, Melbourne Renegades and Hobart Hurricanes with their season already in dangerous territory.

Carey smashed eight fours and hit Dwarshuis for back-to-back sixes, in a 59-ball knock as he batted for the full 20 overs.

He also took a brilliant diving one-handed catch to dismiss Nic Maddinson for a duck.

Strikers skipper Travis Head (29) provided good support while Jono Wells hit a handy 33 off 19 balls, which was highlighted by a massive 104-metre six in the last over that landed on the roof of the Bill O'Reilly stand.

"It was nice to get a few out of the middle, I was getting a bit it tired in the end," Carey said.

"It proved to be a reasonable score and a score our bowlers did well to defend."

Stand-in Sixers captain Botha admitted they needed more runs from their top order.

"I think Alex Carey showed for them and teams we've played until now, the top five need to use most of the ball," Botha said.

"Then you need the middle to lower order to finish the innings off. But at the moment the middle and lower probably have to bat most of the overs and go at 11 or 12 an over.

"It's not ideal at the moment but it's become a whole lot more difficult and we've probably got to win six out of seven."

Source: AAP

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