Pace ace Henry Thornton has stopped short of declaring the Adelaide Strikers the team to beat in the BBL but says he “couldn’t be happier” with the historic mauling of the Sydney Thunder.
The Strikers bowled the Thunder out for just 15 runs – the lowest total in the history of men’s professional T20 cricket – and Thornton (5-3) was chief destroyer.
The 26-year-old only came into the Strikers’ ranks last summer as a replacement player but his star has since ascended by the game.
He’s taken nine wickets across his first two BBL12 matches to announce himself as the tournament’s newest superstar.
“I just tried to bowl my best ball. I guess I got really lucky. They nicked them and we just caught everything,” he told reporters after the defeat of the Thunder.
“I haven’t played many games of cricket that have happened like that and I think if you asked the boys, they’d probably say the same thing.
“The boys were running the drinks out going, ‘What is going on?’.”
The Strikers now hold the record for restricting a team to the lowest total, comfortably eclipsing the Melbourne Stars, who kept the Melbourne Renegades to only 57 runs in early 2015.
But it wasn’t the chance to enter the history books that most excited Thornton.
“Hopefully, we hold onto the record for a while,” Thornton said.
“It was an amazing effort. I think everyone’s contributing and that’s the sign of a really good team.
“With the scoring what it was, a really easy way out would have been to go hunting or try and create stuff.
“If you look at all the dismissals we just hung in and bowled good balls and we got the rewards.”
The Strikers comfortably defeated last season’s runners-up and perennial heavyweights the Sydney Sixers in their first match of the tournament and now head into Tuesday’s rematch with the Thunder on the highest of highs.
But despite their early dominance, Thornton said it was too early to begin thinking about tournament favouritism, especially given the reigning champions are yet to make an appearance this summer.
“There are still some really good teams. The (Perth) Scorchers haven’t played yet so I want to see what they’re like. And the Sixers and the Thunder are very good outfits,” he said.
“It’s a long tournament. A lot can change. I’d really love to be there at the back-end like last year. Playing finals was awesome so hopefully we can just keep playing good cricket and enjoy each other’s company.
“At the moment, we couldn’t be happier.”