'Tough' Siddle's calming influence on final over hero

Tasked with defending 14 from the last over to get the Strikers through to the BBL|11 final three, Harry Conway says Peter Siddle provided the reassurance he needed to get the job done

Final over hero Harry Conway says the warrior that is Peter Siddle and Test wicketkeeper Alex Carey kept him calm during his last six balls as he bowled the Adelaide Strikers into the final three in KFC BBL|11.

Conway and Siddle sent down the last four overs of the match with the Sydney Thunder needing 43 to win, but they held their nerve in a tense final over thriller.

Strikers' captain Siddle appeared to be clutching his back during his final over, while he has also suffered numerous knocks to his troublesome left thumb throughout the tournament.

Conway said it would take more than a niggle to keep the 37-year-old out of Wednesday night's clash with the Sixers where the winner will go through to the decider to face the Perth Scorchers at Marvel Stadium on Friday. 

Strikers edge out the Thunder to progress to Challenger

"He's very old, he's always holding something, but the thing is, he's got hands of steel and he's so tough," Conway told cricket.com.au after the match.

"He'll come out with a brace and all these bloody nails in his back, and he'll do whatever he can to play.

"He's been awesome. He's been a really good leader, but I think he'll be fine for the next game if he's somehow got through 16 games straight captaining."

Conway said Siddle and Carey were instrumental in keeping him calm throughout the final few overs as Jason Sangha, Alex Ross and Ben Cutting threatened to get the Thunder over the line.

Khawaja has his say after controversial dismissal

"Obviously, (I had) a lot of nerves bowling to a world class guy like Cuttsy (Cutting) and Alex Ross played beautifully tonight so I knew I was up against it from the get go with two set batters in," the right-armer said.

"I just backed my execution, Peter Siddle and Alex Carey were very good to calm me down a fair bit and just said this is a great opportunity.

"At the end of the day, there's luck involved so it can go one way or the other but I'm really happy with the result."

The 29-year-old was required to defend 14 runs from the final over to take the Strikers through to the final three teams in KFC BBL|11 and he conceded only one boundary in the last six balls, which was a top edge over third man, as he claimed the wickets of Ross and Cutting in consecutive deliveries to get his side home by six runs.

To help alleviate the pressure during the final over, Conway said he tried not to look at the scoreboard, but his tactic was undone by the MCG ground announcer.

"In the last four overs I stopped looking at the scoreboard, I took the scoreboard out of it," he said.

"The worst bit was Sidds came up and asked me and I was like 'I don’t care', and then the guy on the loudspeaker said 'there's 14 to win off this last over' and I was like 'oh, you can't win'.

"I didn’t really want to know, (to) try and take the result out of it. I went for that boundary second ball, and I was still really calm … the plans were really good, it was more just nailing that execution and I’ve done that throughout this tournament.

"I'm not that experienced, so a great opportunity and I’m really happy that I took it."

Conway has played the Strikers last eight games, which includes their current six-game winning streak, taking seven wickets at an economy rate of 7.80 as they charged from the bottom of the table and into the finals.

He was not picked in their first three games of the season and then was forced to isolate for seven days as a COVID close contact when he had dinner with Australian captain Pat Cummins before the Adelaide Test.

Strikers hold onto crucial catch despite collision

Carey said Conway also bowled a great second last over in the Power Surge to limit the Thunder to 12 runs.

"(He was) really clutch late, he looked really calm, Sidds was there, he did a great job helping him through it and he executed really well," Carey said on Fox Cricket after the game.

"All throughout the night he executed well. I really liked his game two nights ago (against the Hurricanes), he's banking some really good performances."