CLT20 Desk in Mumbai
Top 10 moments from BBL
Welcome the new season of KFC T20 BBL with the best moments from the past
1.Warnie commentates McCullum’s demise
If there was any doubt around Shane Warne’s cricketing genius, it was quashed in just his second appearance for the Melbourne Stars. Facing the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba, Warne – mic’d up for Fox Sports – aptly predicts that New Zealand superstar Brendan McCullum will attempt to sweep him and that a straight and fast one will undo the ‘keeper. The rest as they say, is history.
2.Stars v Thunder ratings blockbuster
The second game of BBL|01 will be remembered for a few things: Shane Warne’s return; David Warner’s hundred; and a huge crowd at the ‘G’. All of those and more combined for a ratings cocktail, becoming the fourth most watched sports event in Australian paid-television history.
3. Big Final sells out in 14 minutes
Three consecutive sell-out crowds preceded the Big Final at The Furnace, but nobody could predict just how fast the Big Final tickets would evaporate. In 14 minutes the WACA ground was officially a sell-out, providing an atmosphere worthy of the inaugural BBL final. For the record, Sydney Sixers defeated Perth Scorchers by seven wickets.
4. Luke Wright smashes fastest domestic T20 hundred
Promoted to open the innings, Melbourne Stars’ Luke Wright slaughtered the Hobart Hurricanes with a 44-ball hundred – the fastest in Australian domestic Twenty20. Eight fours and nine sixes demoralised the home team, crunching the ‘Canes attack to all parts. He finished on 117 from 60 balls and a place in BBL history.
5. Gayle leads international charge
BBL|01 saw some of the world’s best international cricketers descend on Australia, with West Indian master-blaster Chris Gayle leading from the front. Shahid Afridi, Luke Wright, Herschelle Gibbs, Owais Shah, Brendan McCullum and Daniel Vettori all featured throughout the tournament, but it was Gayle who electrified ANZ Stadium against the Strikers – blitzing 100 not out off 50 balls, including 11 mammoth sixes. You can see why the Sydney Thunder were so keen to re-sign him!
6. Last ball thrillers
No less than three matches delivered last ball finishes, two featuring the purple men of Hobart. Sydney Sixers defeated Perth Scorchers by a single run at the SCG, effecting a run-out with the visitors requiring three from the last ball. The Hurricanes needed one off the last ball at Blundstone Arena against the Melbourne Renegades, but an anti-climactic wide from Shahid Afridi saw the home side victorious. But the match of the tournament went to the Heat-Hurricanes thriller at the Gabba. Set 202 to win, Travis Birt and Owais Shah led an amazing fight back which resulted in four required from the last ball. Shah, on 69, belted the last ball down the ground to find Dan Christian’s, safe pair of hands, which snared the final wicket for the Heat and an incredible win.
7. Gibbs goes first ball
Heading into the Big Final, Herschelle Gibbs was the Perth Scorchers’ leading run-scorer, and a key batsmen throughout the tournament. His wicket was vital for the Sydney Sixers, and it didn’t take long, with a perfectly executed short-ball from Brett Lee proving his undoing. From there, Perth lost ‘keeper Luke Ronchi in the same over and struggled to get back into the contest.
8. Big Derbies = Big Crowds
When the BBL01 fixture was released, all eyes were on the two new city-based derbies. The Big Melbourne Derby at the MCG between the Stars and Renegades drew in a huge crowd of more than 40,000 fans, who were shown a fantastic spectacle, witnessing the Stars take early bragging rights. In Sydney, ANZ Stadium hosted the first Big Sydney Derby, where cross-town rivals the Sixers won the cake after a blistering spell from Mitch Starc took the sting out of the 31,000 plus Thunder fans.
9. Birt goes ballistic
What other option do you have but to hit out when facing a massive 204 to win? That’s the theory Travis Birt put into practice, bossing 51 off only 23 balls. He was especially brutal against Stars paceman Clint McKay, launching three consecutive sixes out of Blundstone Arena – the last two off chest-high no balls. His stay lasted only one ball later, as McKay laughed loudest, dismissing the burly batsmen with his next delivery.
10. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s Dwayne Bravo
One of Sydney Sixers’ star imports was Dwayne Bravo, arguably the coolest cat in BBL01. His batting was dynamic and his bowling deceiving, but it was his fielding that stole the show. Melbourne Stars’ Luke Wright lofted Sixer Steve Smith high towards the long on boundary for a certain six until Bravo lept higher than a tall building to pull in the maximum and hurtle it back into play before crashing back down. The match was decided by two runs, with Bravo’s super effort proving the difference.