It’s a wrap from the league stage of the 12th edition of the BBL. Not only last week, but the entire edition has had plenty of drama. Umpiring blunders, some dodgy rules under the scanner and an unexpected three innings cameo from Steve Smith.
The destructive version of Smith
Before scoring his first century of this season against Adelaide Strikers, Smith had only one hundred to his name and that came in the 2016 edition of the IPL when he was playing for the now-defunct Rising Pune Super Giants. Post his century, Smith had hit only 13 scores of 50+ in 86 innings. Owing to his below par performance in 2022, Smith was dropped from the international squad.
But, what way to shut the critics. In four matches, he has scored 328 runs at an average of 109.3 and a strike rate of 180.2. Following his century against Strikers, Smith backed it up with yet another century against Sydney Thunders. He became the 13th batsman in T20s to hit successive 100s, and second in BBL after Ben McDermott in 2021.
His dream run didn’t end there. After hitting consecutive centuries, Smith was on course to yet another ton. But, he fell short after being dismissed for a 33-ball 66. In this innings, he registered a half-century of 22 balls, his fastest in T20s. In these four matches, he has hit 24 sixes, which is the most by a Sydney Sixers batsman in a season.
Brisbane fumble chasing 121 in an eventful match
Hobart were up against Brisbane in the penultimate game of the league stage. Hobart had no chance of making it to the play-offs with 10 points. But, it was a must win game for Brisbane, and after bowling first, they had finished the job half. With only 121 runs to win, Brisbane could envision themselves at fourth spot.
But, they messed up the chase horribly. Despite losing wickets early, Brisbane were in a comfortable position when they needed 19 runs of 24 balls. Even from there, they lost the match by three runs and kicked themselves out of contention.
Another match with an umpiring blunder
Umpiring has been under scrutiny in this edition of the BBL. Adam Zampa’s run out attempt at the non-striker’s end, Micahel Neser’s catch, and few more was added by a blunder in the match between Melbourne Renegades and Adelaide Strikers.
In the first over of the chase, Matthew Short was bowling with six fielders on the leg side, which is a no-ball according to the rules. However, the umpires or the players failed to realize it for the first ball (third of the over). Sam Harper was adjudged out on field on the third ball, he reviewed it, and was overturned. Co-incidentally, even the third umpire didn’t pick it up, Harper survived the call because there was no bat involved.
One ball 15 runs!!!!
Yes, Joe Paris conceded 15 runs of just one ball. In the second over of the first innings against Sixers, Paris was smashed for six in the third ball, which turned out to be a no-ball.
In the follow-up delivery, Paris sprayed a ball down leg, ending up to be five wides. Later, he finished the free-hit with boundary and took the tally to 15 runs.
Blinders and brilliance in the field
The match between Hobart and Brisbane was filled with entertainment. Electrifying Marnus Labuschagne took two brilliant catches. One of them was a spectacular one.
In the same match, the momentum changing incident in Brisbane’s chase was Matt Renshaw’s run out. Remember AB de Villiers run-out of Simon Katich in 2006? Zak Crawley did something similar to run out Renshaw, the in-form batsman.
In the match between Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades, Nick Hobson at deep mid-wicket, took one of the greatest catches of the BBL. Running backwards, Hobson plunged full-length with two hands towards the boundary line and took it inside the rope.
The Hobson catch came later in the second innings. But, in the first innings, Will Sutherland grabbed the catch of the season probably. Running back from mid-off, Sutherland had to shift his momentum of the jump mid-air. Literally, he had to spin to his right in his flight to catch it with one hand.
One ball and off you go said the umpires
The match between Perth and Renegades, saw a crazy event happen in the second over of the match.
David Moody, started his first over with a dot ball. But, in the second ball, he bowled a beamer right at the rib level to Cameron Bancroft. Hence, receiving a warning. He then followed it up with a wide (free-hit) and again bowled a beamer. After receiving his second warning, he was taken off the bowling.
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