An astounding Jake Weatherald pyrotechnics show powered Adelaide Strikers to their first Big Bash League (BBL) title with a 25-run victory over Hobart Hurricanes in the final on Sunday (February 4).
Smashing a slew of records, Weatherald fell just short of the tournament record in his scorching 70-ball 115 marked by eight eye-catching sixes – the most ever by a batsman in a BBL final. He combined in a match-winning 140-run partnership with captain Travis Head (44 from 29 balls) to propel the Strikers to an imposing 202 for 2.
The Strikers held off a determined chase from the powerful Hurricanes batting order with veteran quick Peter Siddle (3 for 17) starring through an assortment of cunning bowling. The 33-year-old effectively ended the match when he claimed the key scalp of emerging superstar D’Arcy Short (68 from 44 balls) with his last ball as the Hurricanes still needed a forlorn 58 runs from 18 balls.
Even though their dreams of glory ended in bitter despair, the Hurricanes were bold and overcame the early loss of Tim Paine to confidently charge at the daunting total. Much of the burden was on BBL player-of-the-tournament Short, who had made his international debut last night against New Zealand, and he smoked his second ball to the boundary to signal his intent.
Short was bogged down in the middle overs by accurate Strikers bowling, particularly from Siddle, but rediscovered his belligerent best as he reached his half-century off 36 balls. The Hurricanes looked a chance when Short and captain George Bailey combined in a rapid half-century stand.
Using his feet crisply, Bailey smashed two sixes off Head in the third over as the Hurricanes matched the required run rate after plundering 60 runs in the power play. Bailey quickly notched his highest score in a sluggish BBL campaign as he combined with Short in a swift 81-run partnership to leave the match delicately poised. But Bailey holed out for a 33-ball 46 as the pressure fell on Short, who was unable to quite replicate his heroics from the previous games in the tournament.
Matthew Wade, who top-scored in the semifinal as an opener, strangely batted at No.6 and was run out without facing a ball as the Strikers could sense their first ever title was imminent.