Adelaide Strikers claim Big Bash title

04 February 2018

Jake Weatherald ton and Peter Siddle wickets lead Adelaide to glory against the Hurricanes

The result: Adelaide Strikers 2-202 (Weatherald 115, Head 44*) beat Hobart Hurricanes 5-177 (Short 68, Bailey 46, Siddle 3-17) by 25 runs

The Final in a tweet: Jake Weatherald's spectacular century blows Hurricanes away as Adelaide Strikers claim a maiden Big Bash crown #BBL07

The coin toss: Home captain Travis Head flipped the coin and Hobart's George Bailey shouted "heads". The coin fell tails up and Head wasted no time in declaring Adelaide would bat first on their home deck. The Strikers had batted first in every match at home this summer, winning all of them coming into the final with an average first innings score of 165.

Strikers fans, players celebrate first ever BBL title

The Strikers' powerplay: The opening combination of Alex Carey and Weatherald has worked wonders for the Strikers all season, and they raced out of the blocks again today. They had put on 41 before Carey (18 from 16 balls) chopped one on from Jofra Archer. Weatherald finished the powerplay in style, going 4, 6 against Riley Meredith as Adelaide reached 1-53.

The hero: Weatherald has come into his own as the tournament has progressed, and the 23-year-old underlined why he's so highly rated with a stunning century. Weatherald didn't pass 20 in his first seven innings of this tournament, which yielded a total of 87 runs. Then something clicked, and he came into this final with three fifties in his past four innings, but this knock was next level. Powerful brutality mixed with clever strike rotation, he targeted the square boundaries both sides of the wicket and became the first man to hit a century in a Big Bash final.

Weatherald storms to blow 'Canes away

He was aggressive without being outrageous throughout the powerplay, but the relaxation of fielding restrictions saw him step on the accelerator. Dan Christian's first three balls disappeared for 6-4-6 and he followed that with two more sixes in the next over. The century came in the 16th over. A crunching cut shot to the backward point boundary took him to 99, before a two turned into the leg-side from his 58th ball saw the Darwin product let out a roar of joy with a double fist pump as he raced off down the wicket to bring up triple figures.

The carnage ended on 115, a tired pull shot on a short slower ball taking a top edge that was caught by George Bailey. His knock included nine fours and eight sixes in 70 balls that thrilled the packed Adelaide Oval.

Jake Weatherald celebrates his BBL century // Getty
Jake Weatherald celebrates his BBL century // Getty

The indiscipline: With Weatherald in full flight, he smashed a Tom Rogers delivery back at the bowler at a catchable height. The Hurricanes quick couldn't handle it as the catch went down, but the bowler quickly regathered and with Travis Head backing up, had a run-out opportunity. That missed from point blank range, much to the chagrin of Archer who turned away with his hands on his heads, and forgot to back-up, as the ball raced behind his back towards the boundary rope. He chased it down with a nifty bit of work before the rope but Adelaide had run three. 

Archer caught napping in the outfield

Archer was again in the highlights for the wrong reason from a Hobart point of view on the final ball of the Adelaide innings, when he unnecessarily threw down the stumps from close range and cost the team an extra run as the ball ricocheted into the outfield. 

The support batting: With Weatherald taking centre stage, Strikers captain Head took a back seat, but was far from quiet. Given a life early on when put down by D'Arcy Short, Head kept the scoreboard ticking and fed Weatherald the strike. When the opener departed, he kept up the aggression and only a lack of strike kept him from his own half-century, finishing unbeaten on 44 from 29 balls with two fours and a monster trademark slog-swept six. Colin Ingram's quick-fire cameo of 14 from 6 balls ensured the Strikers pushed beyond 200 with no loss of momentum following Weatherald's exit.

In-form Head helps Strikers to huge total

The bowling effort: Experience counts in the big games and there's not many going around with more than Peter Siddle. After a lean couple of years Siddle has reinvented himself with the Strikers and turned up with a big effort in the final to claim three key wickets. He had George Bailey caught on the fence by Jake Lehmann, and was fortunate to get a leg-before verdict against Ben McDermott with a ball heading down the leg-side. But with a four-over spell of 3-17 that included 15 dot balls, including the prized wicket of Short with his last delivery, his impact can't be understated.

Peter perfect picks up three in the Big Dance

The batting order twist: We all knew Short was going to open the batting for Hobart, but we also expected Matthew Wade to walk out alongside him. But Hobart sprung a surprise when Tim Paine came out. In the Hurricanes' semi-final win against Perth, it was a Wade blitz that put them on course for the final. Paine started well, sending his second ball to the rope, but a faint tickle gave Alex Carey a catch in the opening over and George Bailey came out at No.3. More intrigue followed as Wade slipped further down the order, eventually coming out at No.6, only to be run out without facing a ball for a rare diamond duck. 

The Hurricanes power play: Head's decision to bowl himself to open the innings seemed a masterstroke when Tim Paine was caught behind in the first over. But bowling himself a second backfired as No.3 batter George Bailey launched him twice into the stands. Player of the Tournament D'Arcy Short was relatively quiet in the powerplay as Bailey dominated with 31 from 18. After six overs the 'Canes had reached 60, putting them ahead of the Strikers at that point.

The consolation effort: Short was named Player of the Tournament before the final began, and had an early flight into Adelaide after his international debut against New Zealand on Saturday night. It wasn't the explosive start we've come to expect in BBL|07 as he played the anchor role to Bailey early on, then came into his own to post his fourth fifty of the season. He smashed four sixes, and six fours, in a 44-ball knock of 68, but Hobart couldn't build around him to mount a challenge in a formidable run chase.

D'Arcy dominates again but 'Canes come up short

The big shoes to fill: Rashid Khan has been a sensation this Big Bash season, and his absence due to international commitments threatened to be very keenly felt by the Strikers.  While Rashid was regularly on the tweet from afar, Liam O'Connor was drafted into the XI for his first game of BBL|07. He didn't take a wicket, but he more than did the job for Adelaide, finishing with 0-27 from his four overs. He only bowled the one bad ball in his spell, in his final over, which went for six. In fact, he only conceded one other boundary as Hobart's required run rate quickly climbed.

The stat: Weatherald broke a number of records with his knock. The highest score in a BBL knockout game (and third-highest of all time), and the most sixes in a Final innings with eight deposited over the rope. 

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