February 8, 2014
Choice of game
It was the Big Final of BBL 3 and I didn't want to miss the chance to witness the Perth Scorchers' first title win in three attempts. I was definitely hoping it would be third time lucky!
Who else but Brad Hogg? His brutally effective four-over spell, which yielded two wickets at an economy rate of just over four, put to rest any doubt over who would prevail. He also got the crowd going, as usual, whether he was sending down a wrong 'un, diving to save the ball or simply swapping positions.
One thing I'd have changed
Most of the game went to plan for the Scorchers, but I would have loved to see Craig Simmons make another big score. He was just starting to fire when he was dismissed, and had the ball gone 10 metres either side of Dimitri Mascarenhas, he would have got four runs and potentially made a huge score.
Face-off I relished
Probably the best face-off in the match was the battle of the Georges: Hogg v Bailey. Hogg bowled with class, yet Bailey was able to manipulate the field and score 13 runs off the 12 balls he faced from Hogg. Still, he was unable to score a boundary off Hogg, so it was a pretty even battle.
The final ball of the tournament, when all the fielders were called in, the crowd stood, the bowler was clapped in, he delivered a half-volley and despite the fact it went for four, no one cared as the Scorchers were the champions!
I had a variety of fielders who fielded in front of me at third-man/long-on to a right-hand batsman. From the Hurricanes it was mainly Travis Birt and Doug Bollinger, who at one point had a lively conversation with a member of the crowd in front of me. When the Scorchers were fielding, Jason Behrendorff and Adam Voges were in front of me, but they didn't do anything of note.
Shot of the day
This goes to Mitch Marsh's third of three consecutive sixes in the 18th over. He absolutely smashed a lofted on drive and it flew into the top tier of the Lillee-Marsh stand: it was even bigger than the one Simmons had hit to bring up his century against the Strikers. You don't see a lot of sixes up there, and the fact this one went ten rows back makes it my shot of the day.
Stat of the day
The Marsh brothers combined to score exactly 100 runs between them off just 55 deliveries, including four fours and seven sixes. Is this the first time brothers have scored a century between them in a Twenty20? I will have to Ask Steven that one!
The attendance number was over 20,000, which is the largest ever Big Bash crowd at the WACA. The crowd was in party mode for most of the game, and it climaxed in a huge roar when the last ball was bowled. There were the usual Mexican waves, beer-cup-snakes and beach balls. There wasn't a huge contingent of Hurricanes' fans, as you'd expect, since the trek from Hobart to Perth is certainly a big one.
There was a sea of orange at the WACA. The now-famous guy who sits in front of the scoreboard on the grass bank came with his beard dyed orange. There were several people with "We Love Hoggy" temporarily tattooed on their faces. There was orange everywhere and it created a great atmosphere for the game.
As I arrived at the game only 15 minutes before starting time I missed out on the pre-match entertainment. At the innings break there was a mascot race between six of the BBL clubs' mascots. The Hurricanes mascot won: as it turned out it would be the only thing they'd win all night. There was also a man trying to take high catches to win something: the problem at the WACA is the PA system is terrible and you can't hear what anyone is saying into the microphone. There were fireworks and fire when the Scorchers took to the field and also in front of the western bank whenever a wicket, four or six occurred.
The Scorchers finally got their hands on some silverware; it really was third-time lucky! Every player fired, the batsmen clicked, the bowlers fired and it was the Scorchers' most complete performance of the season. As for the Hurricanes, they simply weren't good enough when it counted and the target ended up being way too much for them.
Marks out of ten
10. Who doesn't love it when their side wins a final!
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