Carey and Khawaja disagree over key catch

Strikers' No.52 Fawad Ahmed celebrating the controversial catch that got rid of Usman Khawaja.
Strikers' No.52 Fawad Ahmed celebrating the controversial catch that got rid of Usman Khawaja.

Wicketkeeper Alex Carey insists teammate Fawad Ahmed's controversial low catch in the Adelaide Strikers' dramatic BBL Knockout victory over the Sydney Thunder was clean.

Thunder captain and Test star Usman Khawaja stood his ground in the seventh over at the MCG on Sunday when, on 23, he sliced Matt Short to short third man where Fawad lunged forward and claimed the catch.

Umpire Donovan Koch's soft signal was out, which television umpire Ben Treloar agreed with after much deliberation.

Yet television replays appeared to show the ball brushing the turf as it landed into the outstretched fingers of Fawad's right hand.

Khawaja, when interviewed by Channel 7 during the telecast, maintained he was "100 per cent" not out.

"I thought at the end of the day the soft signal cost me," he said.

"It looked like a blade of glass 100 per cent touched the ball ... it looked like it bounced to me.

"I don't agree with it, but I have to accept it."

But Carey, who had an ideal view of it, gave Fawad his backing.

"He's a pretty honest guy," he said.

"It's a tough one to overrule, I think.

"Those are really hard ones ... as a fielder, you absolutely think you catch it.

"I thought he was pretty clean and it looked like he got the finger under it."

The incident threatened to derail the Thunder's valiant run chase, which ended up six runs short despite a dynamic 90-run, third-wicket stand between Jason Sangha (61) and Alex Ross (56).

With 14 required off the 20th over, big paceman Harry Conway took 2-7, including the wicket of dangerman Ross, to nervelessly seal the rampaging Strikers' club-record sixth consecutive win .

It booked a fairytale berth in the Challenger final against the Sydney Sixers on Australia Day, with the winners going on to play the Perth Scorchers in the decider on Friday.

"I think Harry was great in the (power) surge two overs before that and really clutch late," Carey said.

"He looked really calm.

"Sids (captain Peter Siddle) did a great job helping him through it and he executed really well."

Australian Associated Press