WATCH: This guy just won the Big Bash

An outstanding display of power hitting from all-rounders Dan Christian and Mohammad Nabi propelled the Melbourne Renegades to a stunning five-wicket victory over the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL - but a teammate can lay claim to being the real start of the night.

Chasing 175 for victory in front of 34,214 fans at Adelaide Oval, the Renegades looked in trouble when they slumped to 5/82 before Christian (49 not out) and Nabi (48no) combined for an explosive sixth-wicket partnership of 96 in just eight overs.

Christian deposited Billy Stanlake high into the Sir Donald Bradman Pavilion in the penultimate over, which went for 20, helping the undefeated Renegades to victory with five balls to spare and launching them to the top of the BBL ladder.

And while the heroics came late in the match for the Gades, wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman stole the spotlight behind the stumps while fielding in the first innings.

Wearing the microphone and having a chat to Fox Sports commentators Adam Gilchrist, Darren Lehmann and Mike Hussey, the gloveman had the past players in the box in stitches when he delivered his best Richie Benaud impersonation into the loungerooms of Australians everywhere.

"Welcome back to the Adelaide Oval for the first time today," Ludeman said as he channelled his inner Benaud to perfection. "A short time ago we caught up with Gilly, Huss and Boof and what a fantastic job they're doing. It's been marvellous so far here today, big crowd here in at the Adelaide Oval.

"It's pretty evenly poised I think."

As the commentators wiped away tears of laughter they begged for more. So out came Tony Greig.

"Last ball here from Shinwari," Ludeman said in a thick South African accent that mimicked the late Channel 9 icon. "He's been doing a fantastic job for the Renegades. Hopefully he doesn't give him too much room and open up the off side for Short.

"Yes very well bowled. 3/86 after 13."

As funny as the commentators found it, they might be a bit worried that when Ludeman's playing days are over TV networks will headhunt him to do all their jobs himself.

CHECK OUT LUDEMAN'S IMPERSONATIONS IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE

Dan Christian was the hero for Melbourne.
Dan Christian was the hero for Melbourne.

The Renegades absorbed the early exit of Ludeman (eight) to get off to a flying start before leg-spinning wizard Rashid Khan (2-13) - easily Adelaide's best bowler - struck twice in his second over.

He trapped Sam Harper (28) and red-hot Cameron White (32) lbw with perfect wrong 'uns.

Captain Tom Cooper departed first ball to give BBL debutant Cameron Valente his maiden Twenty20 wicket as the Renegades lost 3/2 and looked in trouble, with the asking rate climbing to 100 off the last 10 overs.

Earlier, Matt Short's career-best 65 accelerated the home side's innings late to lift the home side to 5/174.

Short thumped five sixes and combined for a Strikers fourth-wicket record 104-run union with Jono Wells (42).

Both men fell to paceman Kane Richardson (2/39) in the last over of the innings which gained serious momentum in the back half.

Rashid Khan’s heroics weren’t enough for Adelaide.
Rashid Khan’s heroics weren’t enough for Adelaide.

After Alex Carey (five) was run out in a horrible mix up early, Jake Weatherald (32) and captain Colin Ingram (21) picked up the pieces before Short and Wells smashed 87 off the last seven overs.

Christian said the 19th-over assault on Stanlake was no accident. "We set ourselves for that over, just because the (on-side) boundary was so short, only 55m," said Christian, who was named man of the match after visiting hospital earlier in the morning with gastro.

"We really targeted that one and luckily we got away with a few. "It was a pretty good chase."

Barely 12 hours before his matchwinning knock, Christian was in a hospital bed receiving a saline jab to help his sick stomach.

"I was a bit crook this morning, I had a bit of gastro," he said. "I went in for a bit of hydration and a jab to stop myself from being sick.

"(It was caused by) a dodgy prawn, I think. I didn't feel great after dinner last night then woke up pretty rough about 4 (am) this morning and got to hospital about 7.30-8 (am).

"I slept all afternoon but was fine by the time the game started."

Rashid acknowledged Christian and Nabi were supreme in the clutch. "I think they played good cricket under pressure," the Afghani tweaker said.

"I think it was a good total. We had in mind 165-170 would be a good total on this wicket but Nabi and Christian played good cricket.

"They controlled their nerves under pressure and tried to rotate the strike and hit boundaries in every over."

With AAP



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