The 2016/17 Big Bash season provided a captivating blend of ferocious bowling, exciting batting and pure heroics from several of the world’s leading stars. Here we round up the five most memorable moments:
Chris Lynn hits 11 sixes
Perth Scorchers may have won the Big Final, but they were given a real schooling by Chris Lynn earlier in the season. Lynn delivered a batting masterclass as he hit 98 off 49 balls, a stand that included a record-breaking 11 sixes. He reached his half-century from just 27 balls and only got better, taking his average to more than 154. The victory moved Brisbane ahead of Perth into top spot and sent shockwaves throughout the league. Injury curtailed Lynn’s season and Brisbane’s chances of success fell away with it, but he still won the best player of the tournament award for the second consecutive season. Heat fans will wonder what could have been last season if Lynn had stayed fit.
Abbott the surprise hero
Sean Abbott was named the tournament’s best bowler for his wicket taking heroics, but he emerged as a hero with the bat as the Sydney Sixers went through to the semi-finals. He came into the fray with the Sixers needing 64 runs off 37 balls to pass the Melbourne Stars’ 156. It looked hopeless, but Abbott hit an astonishing 33 runs off 17 balls, showing his potential as an all-rounder. He continued to impress as the Sixers made the Big Final, but they fell just short.
Broad finishes off the Renegades.
Another bowler that impressed with the bat was England’s Stuart Broad, who hit the winning runs for Hobart Hurricanes as they beat the Melbourne Hurricanes with the highest score in Big Bash history. The Renegades posted 222-4 but the Hurricanes managed to chase it down with 223-8. They needed 16 in the last over to secure victory and Broad stepped up with 11 runs off just four balls. Former England captain Michael Vaughan was so impressed that he declared the Big Bash to be the best T20 competition in the world and it certainly was a thrilling encounter. Broad did well, but the real star of the show was Ben McDermott, who smashed 114 from 52 balls for Hobart.
Stars slam Dunk’s Strikers
Arguably the match of the season saw the Adelaide Strikers take on the Melbourne Stars at the MCG. Ben Dunk inspired the Strikers to a bright start when he hit 35, but they were reduced to ones thereafter, largely by Scott Boland’s brilliance, eventually posting 152-8. Kevin Pietersen did his best to get the Stars back into the contest, but could only manage 32, while Melbourne’s middle order suffered a meltdown. Things were looking exceptionally bleak when veteran Tasmanian Ben Hilfenhaus entered the fray and the Stars ended up needing 29 from 18 balls. Nobody expected Hilfy to get them out of such a tight spot, but he delivered in style, hitting three fours and a six as he made an unbeaten 32 off 24 to lead his team to victory with just three deliveries to spare. Hilfenhaus had already scored a hat-trick with the ball, and surpassed the mighty Boland as man of the match. Dunk finished the season as the top batsman in the league, and he has now joined the Stars. Check out https://www.oddschecker.com/au/cricket and you will see that the Scorchers are the favourites to win the 2017/18 Big Bash and deservedly so. But the Stars are building a dangerous team with the likes of Dunk, Pietersen, Hilfenhaus, Glenn Maxwell and Boland and they look a great longer shot at $5.50.
Scorchers triumph again
Perth’s triumph in the Big Final made it three trophies in six seasons of Big Bash history, securing their status as the dominant force in the league. Once again, Michael Klinger and co will be the team to beat in 2017/18, especially when you consider the dominant nature of their victory last time around. Klinger hit an unbeaten 71 off 49 balls to steer his team to a nine-wicket annihilation of the Sixers. Mitchell Johnson was brilliant, while Klinger, Sam Whiteman and Ian Bell were fantastic with the bat and the Sixers just could not live with them. After suffering the heartbreak of losing the first two Big Finals, the Scorchers have now won three out of four. If they maintain their imperious form, their rivals will have no chance.