Fawad puts Sixers in a spin with haul of 4-14
Leg-spinner sends timely reminder of his potency with vicious spell that rips heart out of Sixers batting to set up huge win
Sam Ferris at the SCG
15 January 2017, 01:43 AM AEST
Fawad Ahmed proved his class once again with a mesmerising spell of spin bowling in Sydney Thunder's crushing eight-wicket win over the Sixers on Saturday night.
In front of a record-BBL crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Ahmed kept a vast majority of the 39,756 in attendance stone cold silent with 4-14 from four overs as the Sixers limped to 9-99 from 20 overs.
Introduced into the attack in the seventh over by captain Shane Watson, Ahmed conceded just four runs from his first six balls before a rush of wickets fell the way of the leg-spinner.
With his ninth ball of the evening the 34-year-old deceived Sixers power-hitter Nic Maddinson with a loopy googly that pitched and bounced and brought about a top-edge from the batsman that was caught at deep mid-wicket.
The next ball Ahmed had two as Sixers captain Moises Henriques was caught by the Ryan Gibson running in at point after the batsman managed only a leading edge from his swipe to the leg-side.
New Zealand import Colin Munro negotiated the hat-trick ball much to the relief of the stunned crowd and his teammates, but four balls later the leggie had his man when the Kiwi played back to a ball that viciously spun to rattle the woodwork.
"It was spinning nicely and I tried to bowl a couple of wrong 'uns to set him up for the faster leg-spinner," Ahmed told cricket.com.au.
"It turned enough to beat him through the bat and pad. It's a happy moment when you setup someone (and it comes off).
"The Moises wicket was nice as well. Watto asked me to bring in the cow corner (fielder) and (Moises) was going against the spin towards the cow corner region."
Ahmed had one more wicket left in him and it came in the form of speedster Sean Abbott who crunched a well-flighted leg-break to hulking allrounder Carlos Brathwaite at short mid-wicket.
After the West Indian reeled in the hot chance, he called Ahmed over and together they celebrated the wicket with a shake-and-bake and a by a double dab, whatever that means.
It's the type of performance Ahmed has delivered time and time again in his domestic cricket career in Australia, whether it be for his state side Victoria or in the electric green of the Thunder.
But this summer Fawad hasn't played a first-class fixture for the Bushrangers with left-arm orthodox spinner Jon Holland the preferred tweaker.
"I haven't played much cricket in the last few months so I'm excited to play more and more games," he said.
"It's only four overs in T20 cricket but sometimes when you find a wicket like this you can enjoy yourself."
Saturday's thumping eight-wicket win with 60 balls to spare moves the Thunder within one win of the top four, with their final match against the Adelaide Strikers on Wednesday set to determine whether their title defence stays alive.