Neser strikes as Adelaide beat Heat to go top
Michael Neser starred with bat and ball as the Adelaide Strikers went top of the Big Bash League with a crushing 56-run win over the Brisbane Heat on New Year's Eve.
All-rounder Neser struck a BBL-best 40 not out from 26 balls to get the Strikers up to 147-7 after Josh Lalor (3-40) and debutant Yasir Shah (2-18) did damage under the lights at Adelaide Oval.
The Heat, who were poor in the field, were reduced to 15-4 in reply and could only muster 91 all out, Neser taking 2-7 - including the big scalp of captain Brendon McCullum - for an Adelaide side that has now won three out of three to move above the Perth Scorchers on net run-rate.
Ben Laughlin continued his impressive start to the tournament by taking 3-11 and spin sensation Rashid Khan finished with figures of 2-19 as Brisbane ended 2017 with a second defeat of the tournament.
Cameron Gannon top-scored with only 23, Adelaide getting the New Year's Eve party started with a resounding victory.
NES NOT DORMANT
Neser ended 2017 on a high note, taking advantage of being dropped by Lalor on 11 to post his highest BBL score.
He struck Lalor for one of two sixes after being given a life by the left-arm seamer, putting on a much-needed 45 for the sixth wicket, the latter given two lives off the bowling of Cameron Gannon before he fell to Mark Steketee for 22.
Not content with his exploits with the bat, Neser bowled Alex Ross before claiming the huge wicket of McCullum, who attempted to strike him over the ropes down the ground but holed out to Lehmann for 15 off only 21 balls.
MIXED NIGHT FOR LALOR
It could have been a night to remember for Lalor, who cleaned Jake Weatherald (20) up with a slower ball and also bowled Alex Carey in the second over.
He undid some of the good work by spilling a chance to get rid of Neser, though, and proved to be expensive late in the innings after a promising start.
Lalor was run out by a superb direct hit from Peter Siddle in Brisbane's reply as the game slipped away.
RASHID AND LAUGHLIN ON A ROLL
Laughlin and Rashid came to the fore once again, maintaining their excellent form early in the BBL.
Rashid appeared to be fortunate when the dangerous Chris Lynn was given out caught behind in the second over despite his bat appearing to strike the ground rather than the ball, but the teenage tweaker was outstanding once again, and the Brisbane batsman struggled to read his leg spinners.
Laughlin snared Ben Cutting and bowled with great accuracy, pace and variation, reaping the rewards with three wickets in only 2.1 overs.