In typical country ‘know how’ and endeavour the Nuriootpa Cricket Club (NCC) fought off inclement weather and adversity to ensure patrons in the Barossa have the opportunity to see reigning champions of the Big Bash League (BBL), the Adelaide Strikers have their final hit out before they start their BBL-08 title defence.
“It was a great opportunity, especially for the young cricketers of the district, who got the chance to interact with the Strikers BBL stars,” NCC spokesman Brett Lydeamore confirmed.
“From the clubs perspective was great to see so many young cricket enthusiasts, our cricketers of tomorrow at the game.
“The scores made on the deck, which were competitive in any BBL match is a compliment to the work of our ground staff, especially with the weather issues they had to deal with.
“Also we would like to convey our thanks to Trent Kelly at the SACA for supplying full pitch cover on Thursday, which certainly helped in the preparations.
“Feedback we received after chatting to Strikers coach Jason ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie was that this was a great hit out for the team prior to their first game in at the Gabba Queensland, and he was impressed that the ground staff were able to get a wicket up for a game. “
In front of an estimated crowd of 2000 supporters the Adelaide Strikers played an internal trial at Centenary Park, Nuriootpa, which started at 2pm last Sunday.
The Strikers squad was divided into two teams with the Summer XI, batting first and making 4/176 from their 20 over allotment.
Jake Lehmann, the son of former test cricketer and Gawler Central sportsman Darren lead the way with a cavalier 70 not out from 43 balls faced, including six boundaries and a pair of sixes.
He was supported by all-rounder Michael Neser (33) and new-recruit Matthew Short with 27.
The Smash XI fell eight runs shy in their run chase.
Opener Harry Nielson top scored with 51 with South African short-form cricketer Colin Ingram (41) and Jono Wells (32) both batted well.
Premier Twenty20 bowler Ben Laughlin collected three pivotal wickets for the Summer XI while Nick Winter and Cameron Valente both secured a pair of scalps for the Smash XI.
The Nuriootpa ground staff led by head curator Reece Worrall, his right hand man Tony Schulz, along with able assistants Mark Hentschke and Leo Broadbent, helped by the fellow members of the cricket club should be commended for their work to get the pitch up for the game.
Many spectators and stars of the future interacted with the Strikers players, securing autographs and photos both during and post-game.
The Strikers play their first match of this campaign against the Brisbane Heat today (Wednesday, December 19) and their initial home appearance at Adelaide Oval is on Sunday, December 23 against the Renegades.