Adelaide Strikers absorbed a stunning opening onslaught from Liam Livingstone and Josh Inglis to notch a 15-run win over Perth Scorchers at Adelaide Oval on Monday night.
After posting 4-198 from their rain-reduced 18 overs, the Strikers’ attack was ravaged by Livingstone (69 off 26 balls) and Inglis (50 off 27), who combined for 124 off 52 deliveries to seemingly turn an imposing run chase into a stroll.
But leg-spinning wizard Rashid Khan (3-40) took the wicket of the high-flying pair off successive deliveries in the ninth over to spin the contest back the Strikers’ way as the Scorchers were ultimately restricted to 7-183.
Wes Agar (2-29) snared brother Ashton Agar (two) and Cam Bancroft (19) in the space of three balls before Phil Salt’s spectacular outfield catch in the final over to dismiss Cam Green iced the Strikers’ win.
Livingstone clouted seven sixes – including a monster inside-out 98-metre strike off Billy Stanlake that landed in the second tier of the Bradman Stand.
His stunning dig ended when he launched at one too many, skying Rashid to Salt in the outer.
The next delivery Inglis was bowled when attempting to sweep a wrong ‘un from Rashid, who then had a prodding Ashton Turner (four) caught behind.
By the time captain Mitch Marsh (14) flat-batted Harry Conway straight to Jon Wells, the asking rate had spiralled and the Scorchers lost control of a match that had been there for the taking.
Earlier, Jake Weatherald (83) and captain Alex Carey (55) starred with the bat after the Strikers were sent in.
Struggling England import Salt played a poor shot to succumb for two in the opening over – after falling for a duck on debut on Saturday – before Weatherald launched at the Scorchers attack.
He crunched three sixes – including a 100-metre bomb off Chris Jordan that soared into the Chappell Stand – in his 83 off 47 balls before being run out by Jhye Richardson.
At the other end Carey, snapped up by Delhi Capitals in last week’s Indian Premier League auction, was sublime in a whirlwind 24-ball innings that helped get Adelaide off the mark in its campaign.