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The Roar


Cricket News: Short stands tall in best ever BBL run-chase, Smith clarifies 'retiring' comment, Clark backs Lanning

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6th January, 2023

Matt Short has celebrated his captaincy debut by blasting a maiden T20 ton to help the Adelaide Strikers pull off the greatest run chase in BBL history.

After the Hurricanes posted an imposing 4-229 at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday night, Short crunched Pakistan paceman Faheem Ashraf for back-to-back boundaries in the 20th over to raise his century and victory by seven wickets with three balls to spare.

With regular skipper Peter Siddle sidelined through a back injury, Short celebrated his temporary elevation to the captaincy by crunching 100no off 59 balls.

Scratchy early, Short received two lives off Riley Meredith’s bowling – dropped by Mitch Owen first ball and a sitter by Nathan Ellis on 22 – and he made the Canes pay.

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“Going into halftime, the boys were a little bit flat,” Short said. “A fifth loss in a row would have been pretty poor, but we stuck at it. Once we got it to a run-a-ball, four off four, I was pretty confident. That’s going to give us a heap of confidence.”

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 05: Matt Short of the Strikers celebrates hitting the winning runs with Colin De Grandhomme of the Strikers during the Men's Big Bash League match between the Adelaide Strikers and the Hobart Hurricanes at Adelaide Oval, on January 05, 2023, in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Matt Short celebrates hitting the winning runs. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

After the early departure of Ryan Gibson (five), Short and Chris Lynn (64) added 124 off 58 balls for the second wicket to turn Adelaide’s dream into a reality.


Lynn smashed four sixes in his whirlwind 29-ball knock before falling to the impressive mystery spinner Paddy Dooley (2-25) during the power surge.

On 20, English import Adam Hose holed out to Tim David at mid-on but was reprieved when third umpire Eloise Sheridean deemed Faheem’s full-toss above waist-height, earning the ire of captain Matthew Wade who remonstrated with umpire Paul Wilson.

“I didn’t think it was a no-ball because his (Hose’s) back leg was bent,” said Hurricanes batter Zak Crawley, who flew in from England two days ago.

“It was above waist-height so I could understand why they gave it, but I felt he was crouched.”

Hose duly belted the free hit for six, one of three maximums he whacked in Faheem’s over, which went for 22.

Hose eventually fell for 38 before an even higher high full toss from the struggling Faheem in the 20th over conceded another free hit, allowing Short to pounce.


Dooley suffered a nasty injury to his left shoulder while diving to save a boundary in the 19th over, compounding the pain for the Hurricanes who looked in an impregnable position at the halfway mark.

Half-centuries to Ben McDermott (57), Caleb Jewell (54) and Crawley (54no) underpinned the Hurricanes’ franchise record score.

The visitors smoked 14 sixes in their innings and appeared on track to make it two wins over the Strikers in five days, while consigning Adelaide to a fourth successive defeat, before Short stole the show.

“The lads are a bit hurt,” Crawley said. “We thought 229 was enough … we knew it was a good track and we knew they were going to come hard. Disappointed but an unbelievable game. I loved it out there.”

Smith won’t be quitting anytime soon

Steve Smith has allayed concerns over his playing future, saying he has no immediate plans to retire from Test cricket.


The 33-year-old raised eyebrows on Thursday when he admitted he did not know if this home summer could be his last, taking a tour-by-tour approach to his future.

Smith is part of an ageing group within the Australian squad, with openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner both aged 36 and in the twilight of their careers.

There are fears of a rush of retirements after this year’s marquee Ashes series in England, with Nathan Lyon (35), Scott Boland (33) Mitchell Starc (32) and Josh Hazlewood (31) among others aged over 30.

Any exit of Smith would, however, represent the biggest shock to Australian cricket.

His love affair with batting makes him one of the most obsessed cricketers in the country, while he has shown a recent desire to reinvigorate his game with technical changes.

The right-hander has averaged 81 this summer, and on Thursday became just the fourth Australian to post 30 Test tons while also becoming the country’s fourth leading run-scorer.

Speaking on Friday morning, Smith moved to push away speculation that he could be playing his last Test on home soil.


Steve Smith. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“I was a little bit cryptic there,” Smith told SEN. “I am not going anywhere right now. I will tell you that. I am getting older and I will take it tour by tour. But I have no immediate plans to stop playing.”

The former captain did, however, warn cricket’s cluttered schedule could eventually push him into retirement and undo advances in sports science that prolong careers.

“There are all (those developments), but there is also probably a bigger schedule than there used to be as well,” Smith said. “You put the two together and they might cancel each other out. I’m not sure. Right now I am really happy. I have had a nice summer, I have enjoyed it. 

“I have a few games of Big Bash after this which I will just chill out and enjoy. And then two important tours away (India and England) which I am looking forward to.”

Smith’s comments come after Australian legend Glenn McGrath said he did not expect the batter to walk away soon. “I think Steve says that every year,” McGrath told reporters.

“He’s done incredibly well. You never know what’s around the corner but he’s in great form. I’m sure he’ll play as long as he can and while he gets selected.”


Morris, Harris allowed to rejoin BBL teams

Back-up batter Marcus Harris and fast bowler Lance Morris have been released from the Australian Test squad to return to their Big Bash League franchises.

Harris will return to the Melbourne Renegades and Morris to the Perth Scorchers.

Victorian Peter Handscomb has joined the Australian squad as a substitute fielder for the third Test against South Africa at the SCG.

He will come into the XI if Matt Renshaw is unable to play after testing positive to COVID-19. However, the Queenslander has not been affected by the virus and batted briefly on day two before rain stopped play early in the afternoon.

Clark backs Lanning to regain top form

Cricket legend Belinda Clark has tipped Meg Lanning to return to her brilliant best now that her five-month hiatus is over. 


Victoria’s 50-over clash with NSW at Junction Oval on Thursday marked national captain Lanning’s first match since she took a break to focus on herself after Australia’s Commonwealth Games gold medal success in August.

She made a solid 29 runs from 33 deliveries, belting five fours, before being caught at midwicket off Lauren Smith in the 12th over.

Her knock helped Victoria to a vital 88-run win over NSW, with Ellyse Perry scoring 147 off 125 balls against her former state.

Lanning will face the Breakers again on Saturday for her final hit-out before Australia’s white-ball series against Pakistan begins on January 16.

“It was brave from Meg to step away when she realised that she needed to step away,” Clark told reporters.

Belinda Clark speaks in front of her newly revealed statue. (Photo by Brett Hemmings – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

“You can come back refreshed, and I’m hoping Meg’s got some great cricket in front of her. 


“Cricket’s a game that requires you to be switched on the whole time, so I think you’ll see some great Meg Lanning highlights in the next couple of years. She’ll be great.

“I’m really pleased she’s back.” 

Lanning’s return coincided with a bronze statue of Clark being unveiled at the SCG on Thursday.

Considered one of Australia’s greatest ever, Clark is the first female player in the world to be immortalised with a statue at a professional cricket ground.

“It has been quite a journey seeing it come to life over the months,” Clark said.

“It’s an amazing day to be able to unveil it.

“Hopefully young girls and young boys will enjoy their sport, and this is a way for them to see that sport is for everyone, and hopefully they’ll see that, as they walk past this statue and then the others, anything is possible.”


Shanaka shines as Sri Lanka beat India

Dasun Shanaka has held his nerve in the final over with some fine bowling as Sri Lanka restricted India to win the second Twenty20 by 16 runs.

With 21 runs needed off six balls on Thursday, Shanaka conceded only four as India were held to 8-190.

Axar Patel had smacked 65 off 31 balls to help India recover from 5-57, while Suryakumar Yadav scored 51 off 36 balls.

But it was not enough to match the Sri Lankans, for whom Shanaka also shone with the bat, smashing 56 not out off 22 balls as they notched up a formidable 6-206.

The three-match series is now level 1-1 after India won the first game in Mumbai by two runs. It was Sri Lanka’s first win in 13 T20s on Indian soil, their last win having also come in Pune in 2016.

The series decider will be played in Rajkot on Saturday.


“The Indian batsmen had enough skill to take the game away from us. But we managed to hold our nerves,” Shanaka said. “The game was set by our openers and it was good to defend in India.”

Put in to bat, Sri Lanka got off to a good start as Pathum Nissanka (33) and Kusal Mendis put on 80 off 50 balls.

Mendis scored 52 off 31, including three fours and four sixes, while Patel applied the brakes well with 2-24 from four overs.

Pacer Umran Malik then hurt Sri Lanka’s middle order by picking up 3-48 in a fiery four-over spell. 

He bowled Bhanuka Rajpaksa (2) and Wanindu Hasranga (0), with Charith Asalanka (37) also dismissed in between.

Thanks to Malik, the visitors were reduced to 6-138 in 16 overs despite a good start.


But Shanaka then shone with the bat as he hit two fours and six sixes as India gave away 68 runs in the last four overs.

NZ grab late wickets in Pakistan win push

New Zealand have given themselves a big chance of winning the second Test in Pakistan, taking two wickets for no runs in just three overs after setting Pakistan 319 to win with a challenging late declaration.

New Zealand declared late on the fourth day on Thursday on 5-277, leaving Pakistan a day to battle for victory – and they immediately took the initiative with Tim Southee bowling Abdullah Shafique second ball.

When Ish Sodhi then bowled nightwatchman Mir Hamza with the penultimate ball of the day, it left Pakistan on 2-0 after just 2.5 overs, leaving the visitors in the psychological driving seat going into the final day as they seek victory in their first Test tour to Pakistan in 20 years.

Pakistan still have a chance but must beat their previous highest successful chase of 314 in 1994 when they beat Australia by one wicket at the same National Stadium.

Earlier, New Zealand had taken a 41-run, first-innings lead after dismissing Pakistan for 408.


Then, Tom Blundell (74) and Michael Bracewell (74 not out) firmed up the visitors’ victory push with a 127-run stand, with Southee making a late declaration after Blundell holed out in the deep going for quick runs.

It was an eventful day when incorrect decisions from umpires Alex Wharf and Aleem Dar took centre stage.

New Zealand successfully overturned Wharf’s two leg before decisions in favour of legspinner Abrar Ahmed and Dar erred when his caught behind ruling against Henry Nicholls (5) was overturned.

Pakistan didn’t go for an lbw referral after Tom Latham (62) hit his second successive half-century when Wharf ruled for the batter and video suggested the ball would have hit the leg stump.

Blundell also successfully overturned an lbw decision before he scored and was dropped by wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed just before tea.

Sarfaraz also dropped Bracewell soon after he completed his half-century and missed a stumping of Daryl Mitchell just before the New Zealand declaration.


Latham and Kane Williamson’s (41) century stand pushed New Zealand ahead by 155 before Pakistan struck three times in the space of 14 runs.

Latham was brilliantly snapped up by Abrar, who plucked a low left-handed catch at square leg to break a threatening 114-run stand.

Williamson followed when Abrar finally had him lbw after twice wasting two reviews against the former captain before lunch.