NYE has produced a number of miracles in its time, but none have been more inconceivable than the defiance and utter disregard Travis Head showed the Sixers bowling attack. Sean Abbot’s New Years resolution now pertains more to one of the 10 commandments – thou shall not bowl in the death overs.
The sixers seemingly had the game won with 4 overs remaining. The 46,000 strong crowd condemned to a dull roar. At least that was until Travis Head’s masterful array of T20 stroke play confounded the record-breaking crowd in a display that put on more of a show than the premature fireworks.
When Travis Head strode to the wicket, the Strikers were in a position of relative dominance. Simmons fleeting stint at the crease got the Strikers off to a brisk start, before the cagey Jayawardene played a stroke that would have been more at home on a dusty Pallakele deck. Though, as key wickets continued to tumble through the middle overs, the game looked set for an early finish. As Abbott ran in to deliver the first ball of the 18th over, the Strikers still required 51, in 18 balls. A remote chance considering Head had hit the boundary just four times and was striking at only 118. The first four balls of Abbott’s over went for 20, and Head seemed to conjure striking impetus. Abbott‘s predictable line and length saw him travel over the mid-wicket fence three times in four balls, squandering 27 vital runs. The experience of Bollinger delivered a tidy 19th over with a six off the fourth ball the only significant damage.
A bold move by the Sixers skipper saw Abbott trusted in delivering the final over. A modest 13 needed off 6 deliveries. As the first ball was flicked with ease over square leg for six, Head needing 11 to deliver his first BBL century, the Strikers were destined to end 2015 in the top four. Two more short balls from Abbott were hooked over square leg for six. Head finally becoming the first Striker to make a BBL ton in its 5th edition. Pandemonium ensued.
What a way to usher in the New Year – 2016, we can’t wait!