'Just nicked them': New star reflects on incredible night

Strikers quick Henry Thornton was in shock after his 5-3 spearheaded the Strikers' obliteration on the Thunder for 15 all out, and the rest of his team couldn't believe it either

They just nicked them.

That's all Henry Thornton could say after spearheading an annihilation of the Sydney Thunder to the lowest men's T20 total, ever.

Thunder skipper Jason Sangha was equally as dumbfounded.

"It's not like we went out and tried to be crazy," he said after his side were rolled by the Adelaide Strikers for 15 in 35 balls – the lowest T20 score of all-time – eclipsing Turkey's 21 against the Czech Republic in 2019.

"Nine of the 11 batters got out caught behind so I don't really know what you can say."

Every wicket from the Thunder's 35-ball capitulation

Thornton's 5-3 from 2.5 overs was his second such spell in as many games after taking 4-20 on Wednesday to lead the Strikers' 51-run thrashing of last season's finalists, the Sydney Sixers.

It's been a remarkable start to the tournament for the 26-year-old, who just 24 months ago packed up his life and moved to Melbourne to try and reboot his dream of playing cricket at the highest level.

"My job is really easy, like I just run in and bowl," said Thornton after the Strikers 124-run obliteration of the Thunder at Sydney Showground Stadium on Friday night.

"I've got Chris Lynn who's played so much white-ball cricket, I've got Peter Siddle who's played a lot of Test cricket for Australia, and I've got Rashid Khan who's the best T20 bowler in the world at the moment.

5-3! Thornton rips through Thunder in unbelievable spell

"I just run in and do my job, it's really simple.

"And I know it's going to sound cliche, but I love what I do, and I've got a really clear and simple game plan and at the moment it's working.

"Some days it's not going to work and that's cool. But it's just amazing to say when my career finishes that I played with the calibre these guys, so (I'm) really happy."

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Almost two years to the day since his first match with Premier club side St Kilda – where he claimed equally impressive figures of 4-15 off eight overs – the right-armer is now a household name with the fourth best bowling return of all-time in the 12 seasons of the KFC BBL.

A 36-wicket season at 14.42 in 17 matches for St Kilda had him on the radar of Victorian selectors by the following season with an appearance in preseason practice match and the second XI before a return to the Big Bash beckoned in January, signing with the Strikers as a replacement player for injured quick Spencer Johnson.

And despite playing four Marsh Cup matches for Victoria at the back end of last summer which saw him claim the Dean Jones Medal as their best one-day player, the former Australian under-19 representative's allegiance had been won by the Strikers as he inked a deal with South Australia for the 2022-23 season before the previous one had finished.

Thornton, who made his T20 debut (for the Sydney Sixers) and List A debut (for the Cricket Australia XI) in 2017, then followed that by penning a two-year with the Strikers in August, where he joined new recruit Lynn who coincidentally was his first wicket in Adelaide colours.

"I just tried to bowl my best ball," said Thornton of his performance on Friday night.

"I'm still in shock, that's an amazing effort.

"I guess I got really lucky. They just nicked them and we caught everything, so that's cricket, it's such a funny game.

Short goes vertical for ridiculous one-hander

"I thought we all bowled really well; if you look at the length that Wes bowled, I thought he bowled really disciplined and it just allowed us to get into our work and we just caught really well.

"We just couldn't believe what was happening, we were just out there running around having fun and it was amazing.

"I haven't played in many games of cricket that have happened like that and I think if you ask the boys, they'd probably say the same thing.

"They've got some world-class players all the way through, so we knew we had to be on our game, because we thought 140 (target) was maybe a little bit under.

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"That's an extreme day, but you're going to have days where it goes your way and you're going to have days where it doesn't."

Sangha said the Thunder wouldn't dwell on "one bad game" and would move on quickly to their next match against the Melbourne Renegades at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

"That's just the nature of the game, sometimes stuff like that happens," he said.

"The best thing about this tournament and the rest of season is we've got another opportunity against these guys in a couple of days at the Adelaide Oval (on Tuesday).

"I can sit here, and I can dive into it about what went wrong and what we could have done better (but) at the end the day it's just not good enough for a professional team to be bowled out for that little."