The Adelaide Strikers have fallen apart in unbelievable scenes at Adelaide Oval as the team simply “imploded” in Saturday’s 17-run loss to the Brisbane Heat.
Chasing 155 for victory after the Heat were bowled out, the Strikers were never in it as they lost skipper Travis Head for one just four balls in.
And the chase only got worse from there as fellow Test returnee Alex Carey (2) couldn’t get going.
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But it was the horror mix up between Cam Boyce and Colin de Grandhomme – the last recognized batsman standing in the 18th over – that summed up the spectacularly bad day, with their run out likened to the “Wacky Races”.
After potentially running on an overthrow, de Grandhomme and Boyce ended up stranded at the same end with Boyce the one to initially depart.
He was called back as umpires reviewed the breaking of the bails, where it was then determined de Grandhomme was the one dismissed by the run-out.
The calamity even led Fox Cricket commentator Mitch Marsh to apologize to fans watching at home.
“If you were someone who has never watched cricket before [and] you’ve just turned the TV on, I apologise,” Marsh said.
Commentator Adam Gilchrist could not believe what he had witnessed.
“This is a comedy of errors here. Can you believe it? My goodness,” he said.
“It was somewhat like wacky races to be brutally honest.”
The Strikers limped home to 9-137 – falling well short despite their top four hopes going on the line.
Remarkably, it’s the Strikers’ second loss of the season to last-placed Brisbane – and their second straight defeat after losing to the second-last Melbourne Stars on Thursday night.
In what was Chris Lynn’s last match for Adelaide this season – after his very public dumping from the Brisbane outfit – the big hitter couldn’t put a big total on his former side.
When Lynn got squared up by Michael Neser, former teammate Matt Renshaw opted to “have a chirp” and brought the ball to Lynn – drawing a wry smile from the Strikers’ leading run scorer.
“Don’t poke the bear,” Heat star Marnus Labuschagne could be heard on stump mic. “He’s going to find the middle.”
“It was always going to be box office stuff when they matched up,” Gilchrist said of Lynn facing his former side.
“It could be a tactic to get under Lynn’s skin but good luck. He’s pretty cool, calm and collected these days,” commentator Mitch Marsh added.
But just as the Strikers appeared to be coasting with Matt Short (39 off 30) and Lynn at the crease, it was Kuhnemann who struck, snaring Lynn for 22 off 24.
And when Alex Carey went for two, the Strikers were accused of “imploding” at 3-42 in the eighth over.
“What might have felt like a relatively easy chase has just become a lot more challenging,” Gilchrist lamented.
And as wickets regularly tumbled, so too did Adelaide’s hopes.
Earlier it was Striker Harry Conway who did the damage with the ball, taking 3-36 – including Usman Khawaja for 2 – as the Heat were all out for 154 with three balls to spare in their 20 overs.
Only Marnus Labuschagne (46 off 33 balls) showed any real fight for the Heat as Brisbane’s tough season with the bat rolled on at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Josh Brown did what he does best – getting Brisbane off to a fast start before he fell in Cameron Boyce’s first over for 26 off just 16 balls.
By the 10-over mark, Brisbane were still powering on at 2-86. But their promising innings fell apart from there.
Boyce struck again to snare Matt Renshaw (25 off 19) on the boundary in a “crucial blow” before the Heat were put on the backfoot when Englishman Sam Hain (6) was “very stiff” to get run-out at the non striker’s end.
Adelaide’s Ben Manenti got a fingertip to Labuschagne’s drive down the ground, with the deflection taking the bails leaving Hain caught short.
“Hain just turns and walks,” Gilchrist said.
“That’s a real stroke of genius from Manenti to get down there and get a touch.
“That’s not the debut (Hain) would have been hoping for.
“That’s a really unfortunate way to get out.”
“If I get run out like that, I’ll give it away as I don’t leave my crease,” Striker Chris Lynn told Fox Sports.
As has been the Heat’s issue all season, Labuschagne (46 off 33 balls) followed Hain back to the dugout two balls later leaving Brisbane on the backfoot heading into the final overs.
They took the power surge and lost a wicket first ball (Jimmy Peirson for 8) before Wes Agar put himself on a hat trick to completely stifle the Heat’s charge for late runs.
Michael Neser landed a lofty six in the final over but fell when he tried to repeat the dose, leaving Brisbane all out for 154.
And finally it was the Heat’s bowlers who did the job and they restricted the Strikers to 9-137 to claim their third win of the season.
Strikers XI: Wes Agar, Cameron Boyce, Alex Carey, Harry Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Travis Head, Adam Hose, Chris Lynn, Ben Manenti, Matt Short, Peter Siddle
Heat XI: Usman Khawaja, James Bazley, Josh Brown, Sam Hain, Spencer Johnson, Matt Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitch Swepson
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