Victoria, January 2: Jake Weatherald made his first meaningful score of the 2018-19 Big Bash League campaign as Adelaide Strikers secured a comfortable 32-run success over Melbourne Renegades on Thursday.
The Strikers opener made 71 from 44 balls as the defending champions posted 158-6 at Simonds Stadium - Weatherald's first fifty of the tournament after he hammered a blistering 115 in last year's final triumph.
Adelaide's innings threatened to fall away before Rashid Khan's handy 21 from seven deliveries, and the Afghanistan leg-spinner starred in a more familiar role as the Renegades' chase fell well short.
Rashid picked up 1-18 from his four overs, while Michael Neser (2-10), Liam O'Connor (2-21) and Billy Stanlake (2-27) helped restrict the home side to 126-9 and condemn them to a third straight loss, having started the season with back-to-back wins.
SHIN WORRY FOR SHINWARI
There was a moment of concern for the Renegades' Usman Shinwari in just the second over of the match as Weatherald smashed back a straight drive that cannoned into the bowler's shin.
Thankfully, Shinwari was able to continue but he may wish he had not bothered as Weatherald took him for three successive boundaries at the end of his next over before the left-arm seamer finished with 1-40.
STRIKERS RUN INTO TROUBLE
The visitors were going along nicely at 86-2 in the 11th over but saw Matt Short run out when trying to take a risky single.
Replays showed his bat to be beyond the crease but in the air and worse was to follow four overs later when Weatherald fell in similar fashion - having plundered six boundaries and three maximums to give the Strikers a platform.
RASHID THE ALL-ROUNDER
Walking to the crease with only 12 balls left and the Strikers stumbling somewhat at 127-6, Rashid thumped a six and two fours off Kane Richardson in the penultimate over, before sending Shinwari over the ropes in the last to provide some much-needed momentum.
And with ball in hand he bamboozled the Renegades batsmen, trapping Cameron White lbw for his sole victim. He ought to have picked up a second, but saw another leg-before claim inexplicably turned down when Cameron Boyce was struck plumb in front.