Adelaide Strikers 5 for 197 (Carey 101, Labuschagne 2-20) beat Brisbane Heat 115 (Labuschagne 28, Agar 4-27) by 82 runs
Alex Carey sent a timely reminder to the Australia selectors of his quality in T20 cricket with a stunning century as Adelaide Strikers annihilated Brisbane Heat at Adelaide Oval to rocket back into finals calculations.
Just a day after being released by his IPL franchise Delhi Capitals, he made a near-flawless 101 from 62 balls with 10 fours and three sixes to become the first player to make a century in this BBL season and just the sixth player in BBL history to score two career centuries. Carey has been left out of Australia's last four T20 internationals but sent a message to the selectors with Australia's T20 squad for the New Zealand tour to be announced shortly.
Carey's innings was the cornerstone of the Strikers' total of 5 for 197, their highest score of the season. He reprised his once-mighty opening partnership with Jake Weatherald combining for a blistering 66 in the first six overs. Weatherald made 36 from 18 to set the platform before Carey finished the job.
Xavier Bartlett was only Heat bowler spared from the carnage claiming 1 for 30 in four overs. Marnus Labuschagne claimed two wickets but bowled two expensive overs and dropped Carey on 26.
The Heat capitulated in the chase after the early loss of Chris Lynn. Labuschagne's promotion to open backfired as the required run-rate sky-rocketed beyond repair. The Strikers produced a typically frugal team bowling display. Wes Agar took 4 for 27 to become just the second bowler behind Perth Scorcher Jhye Richardson to take 20 wickets in this BBL season. Peter Siddle successfully returned from his fractured thumb to claim 3 for 13.
The Strikers moved up to fourth on the BBL table while the Heat stayed in seventh with their net run-rate taking a hammer blow with just two games left in the season.
More to follow
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne