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The Big Bash League side Sydney Thunder on Friday night set an unwanted record, slumping to the lowest-ever score in the history of T20 game against Adelaide Strikers in the BBL Season 12 here.
The Australian domestic T20 league team, which had England’s T20 World Cup winner Alex Hales, a much-travelled T20 expert who has played in Pakistan Super League and Caribbean Premier League besides BBL, in their ranks were shot out for just 15 runs in 35 deliveries in a dramatic encounter at the Sydney Showground Stadium.
The Thunder’s total is the lowest-ever scored in a T20 match, beating Turkey’s 21 all out against the Czech Republic back in 2019.
The Sydney Thunder were chasing a target of 140 in 20 overs after restricting Adelaide Strikes to what looked like a modest total thanks to some good work by their bowlers. Fazalhaq Farooqi claimed 3-20 while Gurinder Sandhu (2-28), Daniel Sams (2/23) and Brendan Doggett (2-24) bagged two wickets apiece.
However, the match took a dramatic turn in the second innings as Sydney Thunder were bowled out for 15 runs in 5,5 overs with none of their batter reaching double digits while four ended with zeros against their names.
Henry Thornton claimed 5-3 in 2.5 overs while Wes Agar ended with 4-6 in 2 overs as Sydney Thunder, which had internationals like Alex Hales and Rilee Rossouw in their ranks, were blown apart.
Sydney’s abject capitulation left England Test captain Ben Stokes totally stunned.
Following the match from Karachi where his team is stationed for the third and final Test against Pakistan, Stokes took to twitter to react to the record low score.
“8-10 off 5,” he wrote alongside a series of mind blown emojis.
Australian media reported the Player of the Match, Henry Thornton was also in shock after the match and could not believe how low Sydney Thunder’s score was.
“Even in the backyard, they are my best figures!” he was quoted as saying. “I don’t think we can believe it. They nicked everything and we caught everything. It was amazing. It was a great all-round performance and it’s a great feeling.”
‘They just nicked them’, says Strikers’ Thornton after bowling out Thunder for 15
After spearheading an annihilation of the Sydney Thunder to the lowest men’s T20 total, ever, with his sensational 5/3, Adelaide Strikers pacer Henry Thornton feels that the opposition batters nicked every possible delivery and his team caught everything, adding that he is still in shock after the crazy match in the BBL.
The Adelaide Strikers produced the best bowling display in men’s T20 cricket history, bowling the Sydney Thunder out for just 15, winning by a huge margin of 124-runs. It was also the lowest total in men’s T20 cricket off all-time, eclipsing Turkey’s 21 against the Czech Republic in 2019.
Thornton’s 5/3 from 2.5 overs was his second such spell in as many games after taking 4/20 on Wednesday to lead the Strikers’ 51-run thrashing of last season’s finalists, the Sydney Sixers.
It’s been a remarkable start to the tournament for the 26-year-old, who just 24 months ago packed up his life and moved to Melbourne to try and reboot his dream of playing cricket at the highest level.
“My job is really easy, like I just run in and bowl. I’ve got Chris Lynn who’s played so much white-ball cricket, I’ve got Peter Siddle who’s played a lot of Test cricket for Australia, and I’ve got Rashid Khan who’s the best T20 bowler in the world at the moment,” Thornton was quoted as saying by www.cricket.com.au.
“I just run in and do my job, it’s really simple. And I know it’s going to sound cliche, but I love what I do, and I’ve got a really clear and simple game plan and at the moment it’s working.
Some days it’s not going to work and that’s cool. But it’s just amazing to say when my career finishes that I played with the calibre of these guys, so (I’m) really happy,” he added.
Almost two years to the day since his first match with Premier club side St Kilda — where he claimed equally impressive figures of 4/15 off eight overs — the right-armer is now a household name with the fourth best bowling return of all-time in the 12 seasons of the BBL.
“I just tried to bowl my best ball. I’m still in shock, that’s an amazing effort. I guess I got really lucky. They just nicked them and we caught everything, so that’s cricket, it’s such a funny game,” said Thornton of his performance on Friday night.
“I thought we all bowled really well; if you look at the length that Wes bowled, I thought he bowled really disciplined and it just allowed us to get into our work and we just caught really well.
We just couldn’t believe what was happening, we were just out there running around having fun and it was amazing. I haven’t played in many games of cricket that have happened like that and I think if you ask the boys, they’d probably say the same thing.
They’ve got some world-class players all the way through, so we knew we had to be on our game, because we thought 140 (target) was maybe a little bit under. That’s an extreme day, but you’re going to have days where it goes your way and you’re going to have days where it doesn’t,” he concluded.
Thunder skipper Jason Sangha was equally as dumbfounded. He added that the Thunder wouldn’t dwell on “one bad game” and would move on quickly to their next match against the Melbourne Renegades at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
“It’s not like we went out and tried to be crazy. Nine of the 11 batters got out caught behind so I don’t really know what you can say,” Sangha said.
“That’s just the nature of the game, sometimes stuff like that happens. The best thing about this tournament and the rest of the season is we’ve got another opportunity against these guys in a couple of days at the Adelaide Oval (on Tuesday).
I can sit here, and I can dive into it about what went wrong and what we could have done better (but) at the end of the day it’s just not good enough for a professional team to be bowled out for that little,” he added.