1: Strikers opener Jake Weatherald left his name at the top of some lists with his match-winning century. His 115 was the highest ever score by a Striker, beating the unbeaten 101 by Travis Head on New Year’s Eve, 2015. It was also the highest score in a BBL final. Weatherald hit eight sixes – the most in a BBL final - to finish the series with a total of 19. Only D’Arcy Short (26) hit more sixes in the BBL summer. He finished the campaign with 383 runs from 12 innings, after passing 50 four times in his last five innings. The runs started to flow for Weatherald against the Hurricanes on 17 January, when he made 65 in a 171-run opening stand with Alex Carey.
2: The Adelaide Strikers set a new team highest score in its biggest game in seven seasons. Colin Ingram’s last over six and four combination pushed the total to 2/202, four more than the previous record of 6/198 reached against Perth Scorchers in Perth in January, 2014. The Strikers made 23 runs off the last two overs of the power play to be 1/53 and then Weatherald smashed 32 runs off the eighth and ninth overs while his captain Travis Head stood at the other end admiring the show. The team’s 100 was reached off just 64 balls, five overs later the score reached 150 and then 15 from the final over bowled by Joffra Archer left the Hurricanes chasing 203 for a win. The Strikers’ two highest scores of this summer were both made against Hobart Hurricanes in Adelaide.
3: Liam O’Connor had spent the summer shadowing star Strikers recruit Rashid Khan but was ready to play his part as his replacement in Sunday’s final. And the young WA leg-spinner appreciated hearing the support of the fans after helping the Strikers squeeze the Hurricanes batters who had been travelling at the required ten runs an over through the power play. O’Connor’s first over (eighth overall) went for only four singles, then Michael Neser went for five, Peter Siddle picked up the wicket of George Bailey in a five-run over and O’Connor’s third over also went for just five runs. After taking just 27 runs from five middle overs, the Hurricanes were 2/95 after 12 still needing 108 from the last 48 balls. O’Connor, who will soon return to grade cricket in Perth and his work as an insurance broker, finished with 0/27 from his four overs in his first BBL game of the season. “It’s not too bad being behind the No. 1 bowler in the world,” he said. “I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
4: Siddle bowled a stack of cheap overs in his first season with the Strikers but arguably saved his best work for the last three. After the over in which he had Bailey caught by Jake Lehmann inside the rope, he returned for the 15th over and had only one run scored off the bat, after removing Ben McDermott. And Siddle finished his evening with another five-run over which finished with the wicket of D’Arcy Short for 68, leaving the Hurricanes needing 58 from the last three overs. He finished with 3/17 from four overs to end the season with 11 wickets at an economy rate of 5.95, the best of any fast bowler.
5: Strikers captain Head collected some extra frequent flyer points juggling his BBL and national commitments in recent weeks but continued to perform. Having played for Australia’s ODI side in Perth on 28 January, Head returned to Adelaide early last week before flying on to Sydney last Wednesday and returning to play in Friday night’s BBL semi-final. He was back in Sydney the next day with Australia’s T20 squad and then flew home to Adelaide on Sunday morning for the final. Head, who led the Strikers to the title in his first season in charge, made 44 not out from 29 balls after scores of 85 not out, 58 and 53 from his previous three innings.
6: Head’s innings included one of the oddest events of the series. In the tenth over he smashed a drive back to bowler Tom Rogers, who dropped the catch but then threw the ball at the non-striker’s end, missed the stumps and watched the ball roll past Archer, who had stopped watching. He chased the ball down just inside the rope but Head picked up three runs.