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Sri Lankan star Mahela Jayawardene stars in Adelaide Strikers victory

Article image for Sri Lankan star Mahela Jayawardene stars in Adelaide Strikers victory

He may be rising 40 years old, but Sri Lankan veteran Mahela Jayawardene showed why he’s still one of the classiest batsmen in world cricket after leading the Adelaide Strikers to a four-wicket win over reigning champions the Perth Scorchers at the WACA.

After scoring just five in his debut for the Strikers against the Melbourne Stars last Friday night, Jayawardene crafted a fine knock of 42 with four boundaries as the Strikers continued their unbeaten start to BBL05 with their second win in as many starts.

Jayawardene, who’s international record is among the best of all-time, steadied the Strikers innings after they lost Craig Simmons (1), Tim Ludeman (17) and Travis Head (22) early in their run chase.

Ludeman smashed four boundaries from the opening over. 

After Jayawardene was dismissed by Englishman David Willey (2-20), the classy Alex Ross was left to finish off the job and he clubbed four boundaries and two sixes in his quick-fire knock of 38 from just 29 balls before he was dismissed by Joel Paris (2-39) with victory in sight.

It was left to Adil Rashid to hit the winning runs with five balls to spare.

But the downside from the game was a serious shoulder injury suffered by Scorchers paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile that appears certain to rule him out of the upcoming Boxing Day Test against the West Indies at the MCG.

Coulter-Nile appeared to slip and landed heavily on his right shoulder, dislocating it and immediately left the field for treatment.

It’s unsure the extent of the damage until he has scans. But the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time as he looked to push his claim for a Test debut in the next fortnight.

Earlier Shaun Marsh looked in ominous touch for the Scorchers with 47 off 35 balls that included consecutive towering sixes off spinner Jon Holland.

But Holland got his revenge when Marsh top-edged a pull shot into his hands close to the boundary at fine leg off the bowling of Michael Nesser.

Strikers’ leggie Rashid (2-21) put the clamps on Perth’s innings, bowling Michael Carberry (5 off 12 balls) and Mitch Marsh, who charged down the pitch and had a wild swing at the second ball he faced but was bowled for just one.

Rashid was named man-of-the match.

Ben Laughlin (2-20) claimed his 100th career Twenty20 wicket when he dismissed Willey for just two.

It was left to Scorchers captain Adam Voges (45 not out) and Coulter-Nile (18 not out off eight balls) helped lift the defending champions to a competitive target of 6-150.