Pollard’s best sends Brathwaite, Thunder tumbling out

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SYDNEY, Australia (CMC) – Kieron Pollard produced a season-best knock to hand Carlos Brathwaite’s Sydney Thunder a solid 77-run defeat here Wednesday and end the reigning champions’ dream of reaching the playoffs of the Big Bash League.

The big-hitting Pollard slammed 47 off 22 deliveries to help the previously bottom placed Adelaide Strikers rack up 178 for five off their 20 overs at the Sydney Showground Stadium.

Needing to win to have any chance of reaching the next round, Sydney were then undermined by New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi who snatched six for 11, as the hosts tumbled to an embarrassing 101 all out in the 16th over.

The defeat left Thunder as one of four teams on six points but bottom of the standings courtesy of net run rate, following their preliminary round campaign.

Strikers, already eliminated, moved up to fifth on six points.

Sent in, Strikers benefitted from a top score of 65 off 40 balls from opener Ben Dunk, who put on 92 for the second wicket with captain Brad Hodge whose 39 came from 32 balls.

Pollard, arriving at the crease in the 13th over, smashed five sixes to give the visitors momentum down the stretch.

Brathwaite, in his third game for Thunder, finished with one for 33 from his four overs of medium pace.

In reply, the hosts were cruising at 60 for one in the eighth over but suffered a sudden collapse to lose their last eight wickets for 41 runs in the space of 45 deliveries.

Captain Shane Watson struck 39 and opener Kurtis Patterson, 29, in a second wicket partnership worth 58, but were the only two batsmen to reach double figures.

Brathwaite, batting at number five, faced just two deliveries before he was bowled by Sodhi in the 12th over at 81 for four.

Pollard, who shared the new ball, picked up one for 36 from three overs of slow medium.

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