All-rounders Mohammad Nabi and Dan Christian combined for a 94-run sixth-wicket partnership to chase down a target of 175 with five balls to spare and five wickets in hand against the defending champions Adelaide Strikers.
Asked to bat first, Strikers rode on Matt Short (65) and Jonathan Wells’ (42) knocks to post a total of 174/5. In-form wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey was run out early in the innings before his opening partner Jake Weatherald and skipper Colin Ingram provided a decent start. Ingram was caught behind off Nabi, while the Melbourne Renegades’ Afghan import turned catcher for the wicket of Weatherald off the bowling of Cameron Boyce. From 63/3, the pair of Short and Wells went on to add 104 runs for the fourth-wicket partnership to help the home side post a competitive total. Both fell in the last over of the innings off Kane Richardson. Wells was knocked over with a yorker while Short was caught and bowled off Richardson on the last ball of the innings. Jake Lehmann remained not out on 7 off 2 balls.
Richardson returned with the figures of two for 39 while Boyce and Nabi shared a wicket each.
In reply, Renegades were provided a brilliant start by Sam Harper and Cameron White despite the early wicket of Tim Ludaman. But the visitors saw a collapse in the middle overs, stumbling from 1/71 to 5/82. The Afghan talisman Rashid Khan removed both Harper and White to break the stand – both lbw, before Billy Stanlake and Cameron Valente chipped in with a wicket each of Kelvin Smith and skipper Tom Cooper. Strikers looked like cursing to another crushing victory until Christian and Nabi joined on the crease. The pair went on to add 94 runs in just 48 deliveries to take the visitors home with five balls to spare. Nabi finished with an unbeaten 48 off 30 balls while Christian was 49* off 27 balls. The latter was adjudged man of the match for his whirlwind batting that included five sixes and two boundaries.
Strikers next visit Perth Scorchers on Boxing Day while Renegades host Sydney Sixers on December 29.