Sydney Sixers’ title defence is in tatters after a humiliating nine-wicket loss to the Adelaide Strikers in Sunday night’s Twenty20 Big Bash League match in Adelaide.
Chasing 136 to win, the Strikers reached 1-136 with 25 balls remaining, opening bat Tim Ludeman top-scoring with an unbeaten 71 from just 43 balls.
The Sixers won the inaugural BBL crown last summer and also claimed the worldwide Champions League trophy in October.
But Brad Haddin’s outfit have now lost three games in a row and languish in sixth spot at the halfway mark of the Australian tournament.
Adelaide’s third win in four matches was built on a miserly bowling performance which restricted the Sixers to 6-135 on the batter-friendly Adelaide Oval.
Adelaide’s opening batsmen Ludeman and Michael Klinger (53) then ensured victory with a brutal 125-run partnership in just 15.2 overs.
Ludeman posted his half-century from just 31 deliveries which featured six fours and two sixes as the Strikers streeted to 0-92 after 11 overs.
The in-form wicketkeeper-batsman finished with seven fours and three sixes while Klinger was more circumspect but still reached his half-century from only 49 balls before falling soon after.
Earlier, Sydney’s batsmen laboured and never recovered despite the best efforts of Steven Smith (58 from 43 balls) and Moises Henriques (32 from 26 balls).
Skipper Haddin (22 from 30 balls) was the only other batsman to pass five runs.
Strikers paceman Shaun Tait claimed 2-13 from three overs and left-arm spinner Brad Young, making his BBL debut after retiring from first-class cricket in 2003, took 1-11 from three overs – his wicket coming from his second ball.