THE Adelaide Strikers have climbed to second spot on the BBL ladder after belting the Melbourne Stars, featuring Nowra’s Nic Maddinson, by 41 runs on Friday.
The Strikers blasted 5/178 before knocking the Stars over for 137 in front of 30,392 fans at Adelaide Oval.
Openers Evan Gulbis (37) and Ben Dunk (25) started briskly as the Stars marched to 49 without loss from the first five overs but after that only Dwayne Bravo (33) made any impression.
Dunk's departure, courtesy of a fine outfield catch from Michael Neser off Ben Laughlin (3/19), kickstarted a 4-15 collapse which the Stars, despite the best efforts of Bravo, never recovered from.
Wes Agar (2/33) bowled Gulbis for his maiden BBL scalp while legspinner Liam O'Connor (2/33) captured the key wickets of in-form Nick Larkin and captain Nic Maddison (five) to slog sweeps and Neser snared 2/32.
With the asking rate climbing, Bravo launched O'Connor for a couple of sixes but wickets continued to tumble around him and the West Indian superstar eventually holed out to Neser off Rashid Khan to put the result beyond doubt.
Earlier, the Strikers overcame a sluggish start before vice-captain Colin Ingram (57), skipper Travis Head (43) and Jon Wells (32no) blasted them into a match-winning position.
The hosts crunched 138 off their last 12 overs after they were battling at 2/40 off the first eight, following the early exits of Matt Short (one) and Jake Weatherald (15).
Head dispatched Liam Plunkett for three successive sixes but the experienced Englishman had the last laugh when the Strikers captain's attempt at a fourth six landed in Jackson Bird's hands.
Plunkett (4-36) snared the dangerous Ingram and pinch-hitter Rashid before Wells produced a stunning 14-ball cameo.
Wells, who now has 166 BBL runs at 83 this season, was merciless on Bravo (0/51 off four) who went for 23 in the last over to leave the Stars reeling.
Maddinson’s Stars next play the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday at the MCG from 7.15pm.