Scorchers v Strikers, BBL 2013-14, Perth January 16, 2014

Simmons' record ton helps Scorchers to semis

ESPNcricinfo staff

Perth Scorchers 203 for 7 (Simmons 102) beat Adelaide Strikers 198 for 6 (Hughes 58) by five runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Craig Simmons slammed the fastest century of the BBL, off just 39 balls, to power Perth Scorchers to 203 at the WACA. His blistering knock was only just enough to help Scorchers get over the mark as the Adelaide Strikers fought to finish five short in a thriller. The win secured a place in the semi-finals for Scorchers.

Simmons, the left-handed opener, lost his opening partner Simon Katich early, in the second over. He began by slogging Johan Botha over deep square leg for his first six and raced towards his fifty with three more hits over the ropes. Shaun Tait came in for some punishment as well, as Simmons slapped one over deep extra cover.

Simmons then slammed two sixes and a four off consecutive balls off Botha to take 22 off an over. His partner in a second-wicket stand of 103 off just 8.2 overs, Sam Whiteman, made a relatively pedestrian 20 off 19 balls before hitting Jon Holland to Phillip Hughes at backward point. Michael Neser, the right-arm seamer, then suffered at the hands of Simmons as he smashed 20 off his over, including three fours and a six to move to 95 off 38 balls.

Simmons got to the landmark with a six off Holland over long-on. It was the fastest T20 hundred on Australian soil, beating the previous record of 44 balls set by England's Luke Wright, for Melbourne Stars over Hobart Hurricanes in Hobart in BBL 2012. Simmons fell the same over for 102, caught trying to clear deep fine leg, off Holland. Tait then took three wickets as Scorchers finished on 203 for 7.

Strikers were given a sound start by their openers Alex Hales and Hughes, who added 68 in just 7.4 overs. Jono Dean then took 21 off a Mitchell Marsh over to help the Strikers surge ahead. But his promising knock ended at 29 when he was run out attempting a second run. Hughes fell the following over for 58, caught at long-on.

Strikers needed 61 off the last four overs and their chances of winning hinged on Nathan Reardon, who smashed three sixes. But his departure in the 19th over was the turning point as it left them needing 17 off the last over. It came down to six needed off one ball and Tim Ludeman failed to put it away.