Melbourne Renegades wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman has left commentators in stitches and fans in disbelief with a hilarious impersonation of the late, great cricket caller Richie Benaud.
Ludeman’s antics almost stole the spotlight from the Renegades’ incredible win against the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash on Sunday night.
The wicketkeeper was mic’d up for the clash when he decided to take over the commentary himself with a moment of comedic gold.
“Welcome back to the Adelaide Oval for the first time today,” Ludeman said in a Richie Benaud voice famous 12th Man impersonator Billy Birmingham would have been proud of.
“A short time ago we caught up with Gilly, Huss and Boof and what a fantastic job they’re doing. It’s been marvellous so far here today, big crowd here in at the Adelaide Oval.
“It’s pretty evenly poised I think.”
Commentators Adam Gilchrist, Michael Hussey and Darren Lehmann were wiping tears of laughter out of their eyes at Ludeman’s antics.
Incredibly though, the wicketkeeper wasn’t done there, with Ludeman also having a crack at fellow commentary great Tony Greig.
“Last ball here from Shinwari,” Ludeman said.
“He’s been doing a fantastic job for the Renegades. Hopefully he doesn’t give him too much room and open up the off side for Short.
“Yes very well bowled. 3/86 after 13.”
The spot-on impersonations made Ludeman an instant cult hero on social media.
God bless Tim Ludeman 😂
— Gabe Field (@Gabe__96) December 23, 2018
Haha Tim Ludeman impersonating the great Richie Benaud.
— CricBlog (@cric_blog) December 23, 2018
Tim Ludeman 👏👏
— Tom Gilmore (@tgilmore_92) December 23, 2018
ok so tim ludeman is the highlight of the bbl https://t.co/ezZ0yDOWPY
— amy (@omgbroady) December 23, 2018
An outstanding display of power hitting from allrounders Dan Christian and Mohammad Nabi has propelled the Melbourne Renegades to a stunning five-wicket victory over the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL.
Chasing 175 for victory in front of 34,214 fans at Adelaide Oval, the Renegades looked in trouble when they slumped to 5-82 before Christian (49 not out) and Nabi (48 no) combined for an explosive sixth-wicket partnership of 96 in just eight overs.
Christian deposited Billy Stanlake high into the Sir Donald Bradman Pavilion in the penultimate over, which went for 20, helping the undefeated Renegades to victory with five balls to spare and launching them to the top of the BBL ladder.
The Renegades absorbed the early exit of Tim Ludeman (eight) to get off to a flying start before legspinning wizard Rashid Khan (2-13) – easily Adelaide’s best bowler – struck twice in his second over.
He trapped Sam Harper (28) and red-hot Cameron White (32) lbw with perfect wrong ‘uns.
Captain Tom Cooper departed first ball to give BBL debutant Cameron Valente his maiden Twenty20 wicket as the Renegades lost 3-2 and looked in trouble, with the asking rate climbing to 100 off the last 10 overs.
Earlier, Matt Short’s career-best 65 accelerated the home side’s innings late to lift the home side to 5-174.
Short thumped five sixes and combined for a Strikers fourth-wicket record 104-run union with Jono Wells (42).
Both men fell to paceman Kane Richardson (2-39) in the last over of the innings which gained serious momentum in the back half.
After Alex Carey (five) was run out in a horrible mix up early, Jake Weatherald (32) and captain Colin Ingram (21) picked up the pieces before Short and Wells smashed 87 off the last seven overs.
Christian said the 19th-over assault on Stanlake was no accident.
“We set ourselves for that over, just because the (on-side) boundary was so short, only 55m,” said Christian, who was named man of the match after visiting hospital earlier in the morning with gastro.
“We really targeted that one and luckily we got away with a few.
“It was a pretty good chase.”
Rashid acknowledged Christian and Nabi were supreme in the clutch.
“I think they played good cricket under pressure,” the Afghani tweaker said.
“I think it was a good total. We had in mind 165-170 would be a good total on this wicket but Nabi and Christian played good cricket.
“They controlled their nerves under pressure and tried to rotate the strike and hit boundaries in every over.”