The KFC Big Bash presented fans with another humdinger today.
Brisbane Heat, in pursuit of a massive Melbourne Renegades total of 199/5, began the final of their run-chase with 18 runs to win. What unfolded was T20 cricket at its very best.
Nathan Rimmington’s outing with the ball in the game had been rather ordinary leading up to the final over. Yet he was entrusted to win the game for the Renegades.
Bowling under obvious pressure, Rimmington bowled the first ball outside the off-stump. Sure enough, the umpire called a wide. 17 runs required now from six deliveries.
As Rimmington went up to his mark, the commentators summed it up – “you need a six or four at the beginning of the over.”
It was almost as if Joe Burns heard the call.
Just as the bowler delivered, Burns hopped over across the off-stump and struck it clean over deep mid-wicket for a maximum. Such was the ferocity of the hit that the ball landed on the first-tier – all of 103 meters away.
“Well appreciated by the crowd,” said the commentator.
11 runs now required from 5 deliveries. Burns was now bleeding with confidence and ready to club the next one as well. Skipper Aaron Finch, had a quiet word with his bowler who clearly wasn’t showing much in terms of body language now.
Burns was ready. Rimmington, guilty of pitching the previous ball up, decide to pull this one in short. But Burns was there and swung away to pick up six runs.
5 runs now required from 4 balls!
The home crowd was now up and cheering wildly, surely their side wasn’t going to loose this one. And Ben Cutting was convinced as well and decide to munch on this sandwich.
Everybody expected Burns to cart another one over the fence. Rimmington decided to keep it full and the batsman miscued his big hit. Perera ran across from long-off and held on to keep his side in the hunt.
The commentators were now interested and spotted a heist – “He’s gone for the glory. And all of a sudden Renegades are back in the game.”
5 runs now needed from 3 balls.
The game was still in the bag for Brisbane Heat. It’s at this point that you need the bowler to set up and send down a wicket taking delivery. Rimmington bowled a yorker length delivery but erred in line and sent it down outside the off-stump yet again. A wide – the second one of the over.
Four now needed from 3 balls.
Buchanan, the new man, drove his first ball towards mid-off. Finch was quick to cover up and sent his throw back to the bowler in one swift motion. Rimmington did the rest. A run-out and the Heat were now in a real spot of bother.
"What a play," screamed the commentator.
Four runs now required from 2 balls.
Wickets falling should have by now given Rimmington some sort of confidence. But his next ball didn’t seem to suggest that as he sent it down outside the off-stump again. It was his third wide of the over.
“Oh, it’s to wide,” is the reaction this time.
Three runs now required from 2 balls.
Rimmington’s radar was spot on this time. His yorker was full and just outside off-stump. “A swing and a miss”. A dot ball it was.
Three runs required from one ball. What a turnaround!
It was now up to Mark Steketee to win it for the Heat in company of MJ Swepson. And as the Heat dug-out looked on anxiously, it all happened so quickly.
Steketee missed a wide delivery and Swepson ran down the pitch to steal a single. A mix-up ensued and Swepson was sent back.
“Can you believe it,” was the call on air as the crowd look on in disbelief. The debutant wicket-keeper Harriott had calmly lobbed the ball back to the bowler who whipped off the bails nonchalantly to catch Swepson well short.
Melbourne Renegades had won by one run.
From requiring an improbable 18 runs to win from the final over, Heat had squandered the game from 5runs to win from 4 balls.
In all, the over-produced 3 wickets, 2 run-outs, 4 wides and 2 sixes. Truly remarkable in every sense of the word.