After three weeks of nightly BBL08 action we are nearing the halfway point of the world’s premier domestic T20 competition. Big hitting, surprise winners, confusing umpiring decisions have kept spectators glued to their seats. The Pinch Hitters, to the chagrin of Mrs Pinch Hitter, have enjoyed most of the action to date and present to you the hits and misses from Week Three of the BBL.
1. Thunder and Scorchers put on a thriller.
The Thunder and the Scorchers put on a thriller at the Sydney Showgrounds on Wednesday night. Having restricted the Sydney side to 142, the Scorchers would have fancied their chances as they commenced their run chase. A regular loss of wickets put them on the back foot though, leaving skipper Ashton Turner with a sizeable mountain to climb. Taking the task in his stride, the 25-year-old swatted his way to 60* off just 36 balls to put his team within striking distance but, with three left to win, he was able to score just two
2. Jake Weatherald finds form.
After his century in the Big Bash Final last season, there were big expectations on Jake Weatherald going into this season. After a slow start, he has rediscovered his form with a couple of big innings against the Renegades and Sixers. In Geelong against the Renegades, it took a freak runout to end his blistering 71 off 44 balls and he took his form home for the Strikers clash with the Sixers. Back on the familiar confines of the Adelaide Oval, the 24-year-old laid a solid platform for his
3. Lynn and Stoinis continue the New Year Fireworks.
After the various firework displays, the night before, Chris Lynn and Marcus Stoinis put on equally explosive performances in their respective New Year Day matches. Lynn was irresistible for the Brisbane Heat, hitting the Brisbane Heat bowlers to all parts of Metricon Stadium on the way to 84 off 55. Unfortunately for the Heat skipper, his three four, five six innings was not enough to get the win with the Sixers sneaking home with three balls to spare.
In the Melbourne Derby later that night, Marcus Stoinis was impressive with the ball as the Stars restricted cross-town rivals the Renegades to a meagre 148. While it was never likely to challenge the Stars batting lineup, Stoinis ensured that the game was over early with a sensational display of heavy hitting. Having rushed to 72 off 48, it was only fitting that Stoinis hit the winning runs and he did so in style with six pulled over backward square. The Renegades simply had no answer and it was the kind of performance that will ensure that Shane Warne continues his one man campaign to have the 29-year-old added to the Australian Test team.
4. Miserly Mujeeb help Heat open their account.
Without a win after three games, the Brisbane Heat had endured a disappointing start to their BBL08 campaign. Thanks in large part to a miserly performance from Afghani import Mujeeb Ur Rahman, they finally got to experience that winning feeling against the Scorchers at Optus Stadium. In a masterful spell, Mujeeb took two wickets and conceded just ten runs from his four overs as he completely bamboozled the Heat’s batters.
1. I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Ads on Foxtel.
While nowhere near the saturation levels of recent years on Channel 10, it was disappointing to have been surprised with I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here ads during the Foxtel coverage this year. With all due respect to Julia Morris and Chris Brown, but if we never hear from or of them again we will not be disappointed. Is there anybody out there who feels otherwise?
2. Renegades batters wilt after strong start.
The Renegades were flying after two wins from as many games but since their thrilling victory over the
3. Sandeep is lost to BPL.
Sandeep Lamichhane set the BBL alight for the Melbourne Stars but just as fans were pencilling the Nepalese wizard in for Import of the Year calculations, he has flown the coup for the Bangladesh Premier League. While his exit was no surprise for the Stars, having signed him in the knowledge of him only being available for part of the season, is it too ungrateful for us fans in Australia to be upset to have lost him?
4. McCullum drops ‘Catch of the Century’.
Against the Scorchers in Perth, Brendon McCullum went tantalisingly close to completing what would have been the most spectacular highlight in the history of the Big Bash. The photo of the moment before he lost grip on the ball gives an indication of just how breathtaking a moment it might have been. Undeterred he took a screamer later that will no doubt be in contention for