Adil Rashid might just be the lucky charm to inspire Adelaide Strikers to their first-ever Big Bash League title.
The Strikers comfortably saw off bottom-place Brisbane Heat by eight wickets at the ‘Gabba today, to go back to the top of the BBL table, with their Yorkshire leg-spinner again proving why he is being regarded as one of the best overseas players at the tournament.
Rashid claimed an economical 2-17 in four overs to go back to the top of the BBL’s wicket-taking list – with 12 at an average of just 13.41 – and has now struck in all but one game in the tournament.
The one game that Rashid failed to take a wicket was the Strikers’ only defeat of the group stage, against Sydney Thunder, as the Adelaide franchise have moved to the brink of a semi-final place.
It is Rashid’s ability to turn wickets into wins that marks him as potentially the final ingredient to Strikers success after he did the same when South Australia Redbacks won the 2010-11 Big Bash before it reverted to a city-based franchise competition.
The Redbacks lost just one game that season – when Rashid also failed to take a wicket just once – and he now has an enviable record of having been on the winning side in his past nine games when taking a wicket.
Rashid will look to extend that run into double figures when the Strikers return home to the Adelaide Oval to try and confirm their semi-final place against Hobart Hurricanes next Wednesday.
Rashid is not the only England player enjoying himself in the BBL this winter with David Willey one of three Perth scorchers inside the top-10 wicket-takers as they aim for a title hat-trick.
Left-armer Willey, who will join Rashid at Yorkshire next season, has twice been named man of the match for the Scorchers as he has dovetailed with the restrictive Scorchers attack that includes AJ Tye, who has signed for Gloucestershire next summer.
Sussex skipper Luke Wright is the top-ranked England batsman, he has scored 199 at an average of 66.33, and crashed his second BBL century earlier in the tournament with Melbourne Stars
Wright has been the top runscorer in the NatWest T20 Blast over the past two seasons, scoring over 1,100 runs, and is eighth in the BBL rankings at present just ahead of Nottinghamshire opener Michael Lumb who has hit 194 runs at 32.33 for Sydney Sixers.