Alex Carey's maiden Twenty20 hundred fired Adelaide Strikers to a 11-run victory over Hobart Hurricanes to keep pace with Perth Scorchers atop the Big Bash League.
Carey hit the second century of this year's competition off just 56 deliveries to power the Strikers to an imposing 187-4.
The wicketkeeper-batsman was backed up at the crease by fellow opener Jake Weatherald (65) in a monster opening stand of 171, while Peter Siddle returned a brilliantly economic 1-18 from three overs as the Hurricanes were restricted to 176-4 from their allocation.
Tournament top-scorer D'Arcy Short (28) was ousted before he could get going and the visitors at Adelaide Oval were always behind the rate, despite a 102-run union between Alex Doolan (70 not out) and Ben McDermott (45).
CAREY CRUNCHES THE 'CANES
It was not until the sixth over that Carey and Weatherald began to get going, but the pace of Tymal Mills only served to accelerate the Strikers as his first over went for 14 runs, with a six apiece from either batsman.
Carey began to take the lead role in the partnership after launching Cameron Boyce over Cow Corner and he reached 50 off Mills, before taking the 16th over off Dan Christian for 22 runs to zoom to 95, which was converted to a century in the next over with a single off Boyce.
The openers had offered very little to Hobart, Weatherald hitting his top score of the tournament by a distance, but they departed in consecutive balls as the Hurricanes finally stemmed the bleeding.
Jofra Archer was the man to strike, running out Weatherald in spectacular fashion, before clean bowling Carey on exactly 100, but the damage had already been done, despite the 22-year-old taking two more scalps in the final over to finish on 3-27.
D'ARCY FALLS SHORT
After two scores in the 90s, Short walloped a huge 122 not out against Brisbane Heat this time last week, and had caused Gary Kirsten to need emergency dental work after smashing his coach in the face with a shot in training.
He briefly threatened to make headlines again, crunching Michael Neser for 18 runs from his first over, albeit aided by a drop off the final delivery.
Short drilled Ben Laughlin for a massive six over midwicket, but Neser came back into the game, inducing a feather off Short's outside edge, with Carey taking a neat low catch.
SIDDLE STYMIES REPLY
Doolan did well to keep his composure after being rattled on the helmet, but he could not lift the Hurricanes enough, whose margin of defeat ultimately ought to have been wider.
The Strikers were guilty of four drops in the Hurricanes' innings, but Siddle's show of supreme control meant the hosts were always on top.
The former Test bowler took the big wicket of Hurricanes captain George Bailey, ending an eye-catching (for the wrong reasons) knock for just seven, and did not concede a single boundary to send the Strikers back to the top of the ladder.
Ps Don’t worry he’s out - phew ! Now we don’t have to watch that ridiculous stance anymore. I like George but come on buddy !!! Also, why’s he batting 3 when you have McDermott— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) January 17, 2018
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