Australia’s fifth Big Bash League T20 cricket extravaganza finished off its 32-match schedule last weekend, and fans can watch live online as the first-place Adelaide Strikers take on the fourth-finishing Sydney Thunder in the first semifinal match Thursday — a match that pits two of Australia’s most senior and respected cricket stars against each other as captains, with each looking to take his team to the Big Bash final for the first time.
Brad Hodge, at age 41, skippers the Strikers, while Australia’s “Mr. Cricket,” 40-year-old Michael Hussey commands the Thunder.
“It goes to show that especially in T20, it’s the brains that really get you through,” Hodge said Wednesday in an interview with The West Australian newspaper. “There’s a lot of talk about youth but the important things are to have that mixture of youth and senior players to make sure you can get it delivered on time.”
The semifinal takes on an added significance for Hussey, who has guide the perennial doormat Sydney Thunder not only to their first Big Bash League semifinal — but to the team’s first finish higher than seventh place in the eight-team circuit.
To fins out how to watch the Adelaide Strikers vs, Sydney Thunder Big Bash League semifinal live online, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. The match is scheduled to get underway at 7:10 local time at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, South Australia, on Thursday, January 21.
For United States cricket fans, that start time will be 3:40 a.m. Eastern Time, 12:40 a.m. Pacific.
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The 2015-2016 Big Bash League was such a success at the turnstiles that the T20 cricket competition became the ninth-most popular sports league in the world, in terms of average attendance, bumping Japan’s professional baseball league into the 10th position.
But the league was not without controversy, as West Indies star Chris Gayle of the Melbourne Renegades made a series of inappropriate comments to a female television interviewer during a live in-match interview.
Gayle left Australia earlier this week after the Renegades were eliminated from postseason qualification — but not before taking parting shots at the Big Bash League on his social media accounts.
But Gayle also provided one of the season’s biggest thrills, tying an all-time record by recording 50 runs off just 12 balls in the league’s final match Sunday. Watch highlights of Gayle’s amazing knock in the video below.
England star Kevin Pietersen, banished in a storm of controversy from his national side, has found new life in T20 cricket, with his Melbourne Stars finishing second and playing in Friday’s second semifinal.
Pietersen celebrated this week by signing a contract extension that will bring him back to the Stars for two more seasons of Big Bash League cricket.
India-based website CricHD will stream the 2015 KFC Big Bash League first semifinal T20 cricket match, Adelaide Strikers vs. Sydney Thunder, at this link, but fans who choose that option will have to put up with numerous advertisements that often cause slowdowns when viewing online. The best way to watch the Adelaide Strikers vs. Sydney Thunder online, as well as all the Big Bash League second semifinal and final, in the United States is through Willow TV, which is available via this YouTube link with a monthly subscription fee, as well as on Willow TV’s own site, accessible by clicking here.
But there are legal ways to watch Willow TV for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including the Adelaide Strikers vs. Sydney Thunder Big Bash League 2015 cricket semifinal, for a limited period of time, such as the offer at this link — or try the one-month free trial of Sling TV’s International Sports Package, which includes Willow. Information on that deal can be found at this link. The Strikers vs. Thunder match will be replayed by Willow at 11:30 a.m. United States Eastern Time on Thursday (8:30 a.m. Pacific), and again at 6 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Pacific).
[Featured Photo By Brendon Thorne / Getty Images]