CRICKET BBL STRIKERS SIXERS
Birthday boy Josh Hazlewood hit three successive boundaries as the Sydney Sixers absorbed a hat-trick from Rashid Khan to defeat the Adelaide Strikers by two wickets in a BBL thriller.
After the Strikers were skittled for 135 at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday , Rashid (4-22) turned the match Adelaide's way before unlikely batting hero Hazlewood, on his 29th birthday and with 11 required, crunched Peter Siddle for three straight boundaries.
The Sixers win with eight balls remaining leaves them leading the competition.
Rashid had the Strikers roaring when he picked up James Vince, Jack Edwards and Jordan Silk off successive deliveries for his third career Twenty20 hat-trick, and the fifth in BBL history.
Prodding forward tentatively, Vince (27) feathered a catch to Alex Carey before Edwards was adjudged lbw for a golden duck.
Television replays confirmed Edwards was desperately unlucky with Hawk-Eye suggesting Rashid's wrong 'un was far too high and spun way past leg.
But that didn't matter to Rashid, who celebrated wildly when he completed the trifecta with a perfect googly which bamboozled Silk (16) and crashed into his woodwork as the Sixers crashed from 3-79 to 6-83.
The Sixers' chase started unconvincingly when openers Justin Avendano (11) and Josh Philippe (eight), Sunday's match-winner at Coffs Harbour, holed out in Michael Neser's first over.
When man-of-the-match Tom Curran (21) was yorked by Harry Conway, the Sixers looked shot before Hazlewood, who entered the match with five career BBL runs, struck an unbeaten 12 off three.
"I was pretty happy with how we bowled," Hazlewood said.
"We probably stole one with the bat which was nice."
Earlier, Curran's career-best T20 haul of 4-22 left the Strikers reeling, the home side losing 5-10 to slump from 3-110 to 8-120 and losing their last seven wickets for 25.
Only Jake Weatherald (47) and Carey (32) made any impression before both departed thanks to the effervescent Curran's brilliance.
Englishman Curran yorked the dangerous Weatherald before flying for a diving catch at mid-off to send Carey packing.
Seamer Ben Dwarshuis (2-20) and lesgspinner Lloyd Pope (2-33) provided valuable support for Curran who came back in the 20th over and mopped up the tail.
"We didn't have enough runs on the board," Rashid conceded.
"We've been losing close games ... we just couldn't finish it off in the last over."