Christian and Nabi's unbroken stand downs Strikers
Dan Christian and Mohammad Nabi's unbroken 94-run stand led Melbourne Renegades to an enthralling five-wicket win over Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League.
Matt Short and Jonathan Wells' century partnership had helped defending champions Adelaide fight back from 63-3 to a competitive 174-5.
Things were looking even rosier for the home side when the excellent Rashid Khan (2-13), and Billy Stanlake (2-43) played a huge part in having the Renegades reeling on 82-5.
But Christian (49 not out) and Nabi (48 not out) turned on the style to once again swing the match in the Renegades' favour, the former smashing the unfortunate Stanlake for 20 runs in a crucial penultimate over.
The Renegades consequently made it two wins from two in the BBL, while the Strikers fell to 1-1.
CENTURY STAND STILL LEAVES RENEGADES SHORT
The early loss of Alex Carey was followed by Colin Ingram (21) and Jake Weatherald (32) failing to build on starts to leave the Strikers struggling, with Nabi (1-21) bowling a particularly fine spell.
Short (65) and Wells (42) weathered the storm, the former hitting five sixes and one four in his exciting 41-ball knock, while the latter also hit four boundaries from 30 deliveries.
Their stand of 104 gave the Renegades something to defend, but ultimately there were not enough runs on the board by the end of the 20 overs.
RASHID AND STANLAKE MAKE EARLY INROADS
Rashid, the ICC's best-ranked T20 bowler in the world, had Sam Harper (28) and Cameron White (32) pinned lbw in a sensational ninth over to end their promising 50-run stand.
Stanlake sent back Tim Ludeman and Kelvin Smith early in their innings as the Renegades' steady loss of wickets threatened to derail their chase.
Cameron Valente then sent Tom Cooper packing for a duck. Enter Christian and Nabi…
CHRISTIAN AND NABI ENSURE ADELAIDE STRIKE OUT
The Renegades were keeping up with the run-rate, the question was whether they had enough wickets in hand.
But Christian, who had been suffering with illness before the contest, made a mockery of any such concerns – the former's 27-ball effort including five sixes and two fours.
Christian took the game away from the Strikers in the 19th over, striking a mammoth six over deep midwicket that landed in the second tier before another crisp blow towards long off also cleared the ropes.
Nabi played his part with four fours and two sixes from 30 balls, and the stand came from just 48 balls.