BBL 15/16: Lehmann Jr's last-ball six gives Strikers thrilling victory
The Adelaide Strikers won a thrilling contest against the Hobart Hurricanes at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday as they won by six wickets in the very last ball. With the victory, the Strikers have now fixed their place in the semi-finals of the Big Bash League.
Jake Lehmann, son of Australian coach, Darren Lehmann turned out to be the hero for the Strikers as he hit a six off the last ball of the innings when four runs were required to win the match. What makes Lehmann Jr's achievement more fascinating is the fact that it was the first ball he faced in the match as well as the first ball he faced in the BBL.
After winning the toss, the Hurricanes chose to bat in a must-win match. But the visitors did not get off to a good start after losing Sri Lankan batting stalwart, Kumar Sangakkara very early in the innings.
Hurricanes’ captain, Tim Paine played a crucial knock of 45 to get his team to a respectable total. His 42-run partnership with Michael Hill was the highest during the Hurricanes’ innings.
The Hurricanes had a late collapse as they lost the last six wickets in 28 balls for just 23 runs. The Strikers’ bowlers were at the top of their game as they bowled out the Hurricanes for just 143.
Michael Neser picked up three wickets while Adil Rashid, Ben Laughlin and Greg West picked up two wickets apiece.
The Strikers when they came into bat started off slow and lost their opener, Jono Dean, quite early. One of the tournament's best batsmen, Travis Head came in and hit some lusty blows before he was out caught on the boundary line after helping the run rate pick up.
The 65-run partnership between wicketkeeper, Tim Ludeman and captain, Brad Hodge gave the Strikers a clear passage to victory before Hodge was dismissed in the 19th over.
Requiring 10 to win off the last over, things looked grimmer for the Strikers when they lost Alex Ross with two balls to go. Now, they needed 5 off 2 balls and their top-scorer Ludeman on strike.
However, Simon Milenko – Hurricanes’ best bowler in the match – gave no room to Ludeman and only a single was taken with four to win off the last ball.
It was then that Jake Lehmann – the 23-year-old son of the Australian coach – came to the party, facing his first ever ball in the BBL. And what a way to start his BBL career – smashing a six over long on to help the Strikers win a thrilling contest.
The only mistake Milenko made in his four-over spell was the very last ball, the most crucial ball. Nevertheless, he finished the match with figures of 3/25 in four overs and kept the Hurricanes in the game until the very last ball.
Reactions to the enthralling encounter between the Strikers and the Hurricanes:
THE KING!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/WuExChaU6E— Kane Richardson (@KRichardson63) January 13, 2016
Brief Scores: Adelaide Strikers 146/4, 20 overs (Ludeman 57*, Hodge 28; Milenko 3/25) beat Hobart Hurricanes 143/10, 19.3 overs (Paine 45, Hill 32; Neser 3/26, Rashid 2/16) by six wickets.
Man of the match: Adil Rashid