Head hits heights again to put Strikers back on top


Travis Head capitalised on a couple of early let-offs to maintain his excellent form as Adelaide Strikers returned to the top of the Big Bash League table with an eight-wicket thrashing of Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.

The Heat, who have mustered just one win from six matches, posted 175-6 on the back of opener Jimmy Peirson's 51 and useful contributions from Chris Lynn (34) and Nathan Reardon (40 not out).

However, that total proved well within the reach of the visitors, who romped home with eight balls to spare thanks to half-centuries from their top three.

Veteran Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene provided the initial impetus with 53 off 30 deliveries, despite picking up a quad injury midway through his innings.

Having contributed unbeaten scores of 101 and 51 in his last two outings, Head then thumped 50 from 25 balls after surviving tough chances on four and seven, while Tim Ludeman also took advantage of a drop in the deep to finish unbeaten on 57 from 49.

Adil Rashid was the star performer with the ball for Adelaide, the England leg-spinner once again impressing with 2-17 from four overs and becoming the competition's leading wicket-taker, with 12, in the process.

Although Brisbane took 18 off the final over of their innings, the Strikers were soon on course in reply thanks to Jayawardene collecting three successive boundaries off Andrew Fekete in the second over of the chase.

Boundaries continued to flow freely despite Jayawardene pulling up hurt at the end of the fourth over and the match was all but over as a contest when Head greeted Fekete's return with three maximums, leaving the seamer with ugly figures of 0-40 from two overs.

A straight six brought up Head's fifty from 24 deliveries and although he fell next ball to Ben Cutting (1-37), the Strikers eased over the line.