Sydney Thunder secured a hat-trick of wins for the first time in the BBL courtesy of an easy seven-wicket win over Adelaide Strikers, with Jacques Kallis and Andre Russell leading the way.
Set 118 for victory in Monday night’s clash at Spotless Stadium before a sellout crowd of 21,500, the Thunder cruised to victory with 21 balls to spare as Kallis hit 49 off 48 balls.
The comfortable win, coming on the back of victories over Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars, thrust the Thunder to the top of the BBL ladder as the only undefeated side in the competition.
The Thunder have at last cast off their tag as Twenty20 easybeats and the three wins so far this season matches their output from their three previous campaigns.
Kallis and Aiden Blizzard (35 off 29 balls) combined for a first-wicket stand of 66 in 10 overs on a pitch that didn’t appear to have the same demons as it did for the Strikers to put the home side right on track for the win.
Russell added to his 2-28 with the ball by hitting 17 off just seven balls.
Earlier, captain Brad Hodge top-scored for the visitors in hitting 34 off 33 balls in their total of 9-117.
The visitors slumped to 2-3 early after Tim Ludeman was out first ball of the innings and Craig Simmons was dismissed the following over.
Two needless mid-innings runouts to Mahela Jayawardene (21 off 31) and Michael Neser (2 off 8) with Ben Rohrer involved in both, didn’t help the Strikers’ cause.
Hodge and Adil Rashid (25 off 18) combined for the Strikers’ most fruitful partnership of 37 for the seventh wicket to push their score past 100, before 14 runs off the final over gave the visitors something to defend.
The loss was the Strikers’ first in three matches this season.