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BBL 15: Travis Head powers Strikers to an enthralling victory over the Sixers

Davis James
ANALYST
8.30K   //    31 Dec 2015, 16:44 IST
Travis Head Adelaide Strikers BBL
Travis Head exults after scoring a magical hundred and leading his team to an unbelievable victory

Travis Head played one of the best T20 knocks ever as he single-handedly powered the Adelaide Strikers to a five-wicket win against the Sydney Sixers in the last match of 2015. Head hit three sixes in the last over of the match to win the match as well as to bring up a famous hundred.

After being set a target of 177, the Strikers got off to a good start with openers Craig Simmons and Tim Ludeman scoring at a brisk pace taking their team to 46 in the first four overs. Losing their first three wickets for just 20 runs must have given the Strikers some worry, but Head and captain Brad Hodge stabilised the innings with their 47-run partnership.

Hodge was dismissed after scoring 17 runs off 18 balls but the support he gave Head proved to be vital as the latter could play his shots. After the dismissal of Alex Ross, the Sixers seemed to be ones on top of the game as the Strikers were languishing at 123/5 with just 21 balls left to get the remaining 54 runs.

When 51 runs were needed off 18 balls, the game seemed to be slipping away from the Strikers. However, Head had other ideas as he took Sean Abbott to the cleaners and dispatched the bowler over the boundary six times in nine balls.

Head was on 45 before Abbott came into to bowl in the 18th over. At the end of the match – 19.3 overs – Head had reached an unbeaten 101 off 53 balls. In the last 15 balls of the match, 56 runs were scored by the Strikers and all runs were scored by Head.

Abbott conceded 45 runs in the nine balls he bowled in the death overs. In 3.3 overs, he conceded 57 runs at more than 16 per over. In his first two overs, his figures were 1/12 in 2 overs. Ben Dwarshuis was the pick of the bowlers for the Sixers as he picked up 3/25 in his 4 overs.

Earlier, the Sixers were put into bat by the Strikers and posted a respectable total on board after a fifty by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Openers Ed Cowan and Michael Lumb also contributed with useful knocks at the top of the innings. Some late hitting from Johan Botha powered the Sixers to 176. Botha scored 38 off just 20 balls.

Adil Rashid was the best of the bowlers for the Strikers as he picked up 3/34 in 4 overs.

With this win, the Strikers are joint-top of the table with six points from four games. The Sixers have now dropped to the fourth spot in the table.

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Travis Head has given every cricket fan the best possible end to the year 2015 with his fireworks at the Adelaide Oval. A truly special way to end what has been a great year in cricket. Head will have grabbed the attention of the Australian selectors with that remarkable innings and probably earn a place in the national T20 squad.

Brief Scores: Adelaide Strikers (toss) 182/5, 19.3 overs (Head 101*; Dwarshuis 3/25) beat Sydney Sixers 176/5, 20 overs (Haddin 54*, Cowan 43; Rashid 3/34) by five wickets.

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