“Unsold' Steve Smith makes powerful statement to IPL teams with BBL century in 56 balls”
“Big Bash erupts over ‘absurd’ Steve Smith feat”
“Smith lights up Coffs with sublime BBL ton”
Let’s be honest. So many of us never thought we’d EVER see the day when Steve Smith flocks the headlines for smashing a 56-ball ton in a T20. I mean, yeah he’s scored a couple of 60-ball tons in ODIs but the way his T20 game had been going, the prospect of him adding to his century tally in T20s looked unlikely.
But it’s been that kind of a season this time around, you know, in the Big Bash League. We’ve had event after event, NON-STOP. It’s been cricket on cocaine. That’s how T20 cricket should be and that’s what the BBL wasn’t, in the last few years. But we can safely say that the BBL IS BACK, BABY!
So now you know Steve Smith scored a 56-ball ton for the Sixers against the Strikers. On that note, let’s get to this week’s round-up!
What does the table look like?
Sanity has been restored as the Sixers and Scorchers are 1 and 2 respectively. The Renegades have managed to get back into the top three after threatening to fall off, and outside the Stars (who have been TERRIBLE) every single side is still in the race to make it to the playoffs. We’ve got a hell of a final week lined up!
Who and what made the news this week?
BBL 12 had a fantastic start thanks to a whole range of events, and the second week of January saw the Test stars join up and add to the star power. By now you already know Steve Smith represented the Sixers, but he wasn’t the only big name: David Warner (Thunder), Travis Head (Strikers), Marnus Labuschagne (Heat), Usman Khawaja (Heat), Alex Carey (Strikers), Nathan Lyon (Sixers) all featured. Warner, in fact, returned to the BBL after nine long years.
But outside Smith, none of the Test regulars shone (who’d have thought?).
Warner and Head, unfortunately, were the worst of the lot. (who’d have thought?)
Here’s how the Test regulars fared
Steve Smith - 101 (56) and 36 (27)
David Warner - 19 (20) and 0 (2)
Usman Khawaja - 28 (23), 2 (4) and 14 (8)
Travis Head - 1(2) and 5(4)
Marnus Labuschagne - 10 (9), 46 (33), 6 (11)
Alex Carey - 2 (3) and 54 (35)
Nathan Lyon - 0/28 off 3
What were the standout performances with the bat?
Steve Smith’s ton was, by some distance, the single-most exhilarating showing with the bat. But there were quite a few other knocks which made you go, ‘Dayumnnn, that’s impressive’.
Matt Renshaw’s 90* vs the Stars was RIDICULOUSLY GOOD! Chasing 160, Heat were 59/4 at one point and Renshaw single-handedly won the game; the next best score was Jimmy Perison’s 22.
What made Renshaw’s knock extra special was that he pulled off an ice-cold scoop with Heat needing 4 to win off the final ball. CHAMP!
Sam Harper’s 89 vs the Hurricanes SLAPPED too. Harper’s knock featured SEVEN SIXES, and a staggering 63% of his runs came through the on-side. He absolutely OWNED the short boundary, I tell you!
Tim David also arrived PROPERLY with a 41-ball 76* against the Thunder where he absolutely BRUTALIZED the poor cricket ball.
Scorchers’ Steven Eskinazi struck an effortless 66* against the Sixers, the highlight of which was the most ludicrous reverse-scoop of all time.
Honorable mention: Caleb Jewell’s 44-ball 70 against the Stars and Oliver Davies’ 52 against the Scorchers. Davies’ 52 featured some sweeeeet, sweeeeeeet hits!
And what about the bowlers?
In the last two days alone, three bowlers took four-wicket hauls: Michael Neser, Nathan Ellis and Daniel Sams.
But Ellis’ four-fer was special. Because, wait for it, HE TOOK A HAT-TRICK!
That’s right. Ellis went through Gikes, Davies and McAndrew across two different spells to successfully complete his hat-trick. Another special moment for the highlight reels of BBL 12!
Riley Meredith did not take a four-fer, but his 2/14 (4) was as good as any spell all season. The highlight of Meredith’s spell was this UNPLAYABLE INSWINGING RIPPER to Warner in the very first over of the game.
Well, a couple. The first one involved David Warner and Matthew Wade. Warner gave Wade what he described a ‘friendly shove’ but not everyone saw it that way. However, match officials, after viewing several camera angles of the incident, were convinced there was no malice involved. Audio that wasn’t aired confirmed that the altercation was indeed light-hearted.
The second one involved Melbourne Stars, Melbourne Renegades and the Marvel Stadium roof. Twice Stars batters hit the roof, but what unfolded was not what you’d generally expect to happen. Nope, it wasn’t called a dead ball. Instead, both hits were deemed as sixers. Yep, that’s because the BBL rules state that the batting side will be awarded six runs if the batter manages to hit the roof. Bizarre-o!
Any other funny/bizzare incidents?
Oh yes. DO NOT miss this ball of the century (NOT) from Pat Dooley.
We’re not done yet. We’ve lined up one final clip for you. Only fitting that we end the round-up with Steve Smith.