BBL Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Stars Rashid Khan Afghanistan

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When does a win look like a loss?

When the world’s best T20 exhibitor heads to the international airport the next day.

It’s bittersweet reality for the Adelaide Strikers, who bid farewell to true superstar Rashid Khan in Afghanistan after beating the Melbourne Stars on Monday night.

He is first and foremost a leg spinner, but much more.

His helicopter baton has children walking through the doors, as well as his fearless combat and general joie de vivre.

And while Rashid is now leaving Adelaide to take on Ireland in an ODI series, he wasn’t about to sneak out the door.

He took 2-29 of his four rounds – a typical Rashid comeback – including the withdrawal of Stars captain Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck.

And then he was on the sharp end, partnering with Ryan Gibson with the bat to beat the Stars 7-149 with five wickets and six balls to spare.

This lifted Adelaide to third place on the BBL ladder, but lowered their spirits.

“So sad we are broken,” said Wes Agar, man of the match in his 2-19 four-pass game.

“I told him today, ‘man, I’m going to miss you.’

“He brings joy and happiness to the group and so much success on the pitch.”

So how do the Strikers fill his massive bowling boots?

“It’s going to be interesting, we love to play with Rash,” said Adelaide captain Alex Carey.

“It’s a big hole to fill, but Liam O’Connor is pretty keen on getting out.

“We will see him again this evening.

“Everyone loves to play with him and watch him here.”

Meanwhile, the Stars are in a 3-5 hole course, stuck in seventh place.

Both Sydney teams are at the top of the ladder, with Melbourne sides supporting the bottom.

“They were brilliant,” Maxwell said of the Strikers.

“They scrapped it all night.

“We narrowly missed a few times at the end there and they were able to reach us.

“But we see how bundled it is in the middle.

“You get a win with a bonus point, and with the top five (qualifying for the final), that gives you an opportunity.”

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