Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 21st 2015 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, December 21, 2015
SYDNEY---Usman Khawaja struck the first century
of the Big Bash season as Sydney Thunder made
it back-to-back wins with a thrilling one-run tri-
umph over Melbourne Stars.
Khawaja blasted an unbeaten 109 from 70 balls to
inspire Thunder---victors over Sydney Sixers in their
opening clash---to 178--6 at The MCG and perhaps
prove to Australia he is fit to figure in their Boxing
Day Test against West Indies at the same ground
following a hamstring injury.
Kevin Pietersen s brutal knock of 76 from 42 deliv-
eries seemed to put Stars on course for victory but
the hosts could only score eight of the required ten
runs from Jacques Kallis final over to end on 177--5
and fall to consecutive defeats following a reverse to
Adelaide Strikers in their first game.
Khawaja, who pulled up during Australia s second
Test with New Zealand in November, smashed 12
HOBART---Sydney Sixers made it double success
for the Sydney sides by subjecting Hobart Hurri-
canes to the third-heaviest defeat in Big Bash history
with a 95-run triumph at The SCG.
Nathan Lyon took 5--23, the second-best Big Bash
figures after Lasith Malinga s staggering 6--7 for Stars
against Perth Scorchers at The WACA in 2012, as
Hurricanes were skittled for 91 chasing Sixers 186--7.
The Hobart side seemed set to outdo the record
112-run loss Melbourne Renegades suffered against
city rivals Stars in last season when they slipped to
28--6, with Kumar Sangakkara dismissed by Lyon
for a golden duck.
George Bailey s 62 not out off 45 balls stopped
that from happening---the next best Hurricanes bats-
man was No 11 Shaun Tait with five---but Sixers
wrapped up victory in 15.5 overs to bounce back from
their defeat to Thunder.
Brad Haddin (72 from 45) was the pick of the Sixers
batsman, the former Australia keeper nailing eight
fours and two sixes from his opening berth, while
middle-order man Jordan Silk clubbed 41 from 25
South Africa paceman Dale Steyn is on course
to play in the first Test against England next week
after coming through a "thorough fitness test" in
The 32-year-old missed the final three Tests of
the Proteas tour of India in November and December
because of a groin injury, with South Africa suffering
a first overseas series loss since 2006 in his absence.
However, Steyn, the number one ranked Test bowler
by the International Cricket Council, is being slated
to return for the first match of the series against
Alastair Cook s tourists, which gets under way on
Boxing Day in Durban.
South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed
Moosajee said: "Dale has put a lot of work into his
training and rehab since his return from India so we
are very happy to have him back from injury.
"He was put through a thorough fitness test on
Thursday by Cape Cobras physiotherapist, Shane
Jabaar, which included two bowling spells at match
intensity, fielding drills, sprints and agility tests.
"He came through the tests without any discomfort
and will be available for selection for the first Test
match against England starting in Durban next week."
Steyn has taken 402 wickets in his 81 Test matches
at an average of 22.56 and is widely regarded as the
finest fast bowler of his generation.
Steyn on course
to face England
fours and a trio of sixes as he surpassed his previous
best T20 score of 67, with Thunder captain Mike
Hussey (16 from 11) and Russell (22 from 16) offering
Russell then dented Stars flying start to the innings
by removing openers Luke Wright (18) and Marcus
Stoinis (27) from successive balls in the sixth over
before the potentially dangerous Glenn Maxwell (2)
and David Hussey (0) failed to fire.
Pietersen cracked six maximums during an 84-
run stand with James Faulkner (45no) in 7.5 overs
but when he clubbed Clint McKay into the deep at
the start of the 19th over, the Stars were unable to
Khawaja inspires Thunder in thrilling finish
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