The Sydney Sixers are through to their third Big Bash final in six seasons, after beating the Brisbane Heat in a thrilling Super Over at the Gabba on Wednesday night. The scorecard is here.
Crazy game. Crazy, crazy game. You tend to say that a lot after watching Twenty20 cricket, but this really was. How crazy? This crazy.
That was the Sixers' Ben Dwarshius dropping a catch so easy, he could have tied his shoelaces with one hand and still caught it with the other. But the 22-year-old paceman would go on to play a crucial role in this match, hitting a crucial two runs off the last ball of regular play to force the super over.
The Heat batted first. Their innings was a stuttering one, with Nathan Lyon taking 4 for 23 off four overs, to remind everyone that "Niiice Garry" can be Dangerous Garry too.
What the Sixers did really cleverly was deny Heat captain and star batsman Brendon McCullum the strike. So even though he made a typically brisk 46 off 27 balls, not much was happening at the other end while he was out there and the overs kind of just ticked away.
Only some late big hitting from the Heat middle and lower order got the locals through to a defendable total of 9/167.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) 25 de janeiro de 2017
The Sixers started awfully in reply. Nic Maddinson went in the first over for 1, bowled off the entirely unthreatening part-time bowling of Joe Burns. How did Maddinson make the Test team this summer? Will he even be picked for the final against Perth on Saturday night?
The Sixers' innings steadied, then accelerated, first through Kiwi import Colin Munro, then through Moises Henriques, who looked a class above any batsman on the field from either team.
For a while there the Sixers were cruising, needing a run-a-ball from the last six overs or so with eight wickets in hand. But the inevitable collapse happened. Long story short, they needed three off the last ball from Ben Cutting to win, and two to tie.
Dwarshius hit a ball that seemed to go straight up. Surely it would be caught. Why did nobody catch it? Why was there no one at mid wicket? WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED OUT THERE?
We had two runs and a super over, that's what. And in that Super Over, Ben Cutting again bowled. Moises Henriques absolutely destroyed him. He hit two sixes as the Sixers put 22 on the board. That was more than enough. Despite a last ball six, the Heat could manage just 15 runs in reply.
And so, another disappointing season ends for the Heat. They were frontrunners for most of BBL06, but the call-up to the national team of their leading batsman Chris Lynn ultimately hurt them. That, and the lack of one truly world class paceman.
As for the sixers, they've got the leading wicket-taker in the competition in Sean Abbott and in general (Henriques excepted), a stronger bowling lineup than the batting lineup. It could be argued the Perth Scorchers have similar strengths.
Who would have thought a game which is supposed to be all about batting would have the best two bowling teams in the final? Crazy game indeed.Suggest a correction