With 32 games of this summer’s Big Bash League now behind us, we have finally crested the hill of the longest BBL season ever. And that means it’s as good a time as any to start passing judgements on teams.
A blazing Jake Weatherald ton has delivered the Adelaide Strikers a 25-run win against the Hobart Hurricanes and a breakthrough BBL title.
Weatherald’s sizzling 115 from 70 balls in Sunday’s final at Adelaide Oval propelled the Strikers to 2-202.
In reply, the Hurricanes mustered 5-177 in a run chase underpinned by D’Arcy Short and veteran George Bailey.
Short, the BBL’s player of the tournament, struck 68 from 44 balls and Bailey made 46 from 33 balls.
The duo put on 81 runs for the second wicket before Bailey was caught at the long-on boundary in the 11th over.
The stalwart’s dismissal left the Hurricanes at 2-87 and came in the midst of a vital spell from legspinner Liam O’Connor.
O’Connor was playing his first game of the tournament, replacing fellow tweaker Rashid Khan, who departed Adelaide for national duties with Afghanistan.
The newcomer’s initial three overs cost just 16 runs – he finished with 0-27.
And when paceman Peter Siddle dismissed Ben McDermott – who copped an lbw shocker to a ball tracking well leg side – the visitors required an unlikely 82 runs from 30 balls.
Siddle soon outed Hobart’s dangerman Short in a superb spell of 3-17 from the most economical four overs of the match.
Earlier, Weatherald cracked the first century in a BBL final, and the competition’s third-highest score.
The left-hander smashed eight sixes and nine fours in a stunning knock which laid the platform for Adelaide’s first BBL crown.
Weatherald launched into Hobart’s bowlers, reaching his ton from just 58 balls to thrill the parochial 40,732-strong Adelaide crowd.
The opener combined with his captain Travis Head (44 not out from 29 balls) for a rapid 140-run partnership from just 13.2 overs.
Hobart’s bowlers were powerless to stop the onslaught, with only Jofra Archer (1-46) taking a wicket in the initial 18 overs.
Weatherald was dismissed in the 19th over while Tom Rogers was Hobart’s most economical bowler, with 0-30 from his four overs.