Adelaide Strikers opening bowler Dan Worrall has delivered what could be the best ball of the Big Bash tournament this year after leaving Usman Khawaja stunned before a record breaking Thunder chase.
English dynamo Alex Hales secured the Sydney Thunder a BBL finals spot with a record-breaking role in a nine-wicket trouncing of the Adelaide Strikers.
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Chasing 116 to win from 14 overs in Monday night's rain-reduced match, Hales made an unbeaten 63 as the Thunder won with 11 balls to spare.
Hales' 39-ball knock featured four sixes - he's hit 30 this tournament, eclipsing Marcus Stoinis' previous record of 28 for the most sixes in a BBL edition.
But it was the first ball of the innings that had Strikers’ fans licking their lips.
Worrall bowled a ‘peach’ of a yorker, which swung inside the gate of a hapless Khawaja and removed off stump.
The ball was praised as ‘ball of the tournament’, which removed the former Australian batsman for a golden duck.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 25, 2021
— Gloucestershire Cricket🏏 (@Gloscricket) January 25, 2021
— Scott Gumbleton (@scottgumbleton) January 25, 2021
— Kingy 📻 (@tom_king79) January 25, 2021
— RoOSTA-Coach (@Ro0STA) January 25, 2021
Now that was some first ball from Dan Worrall. Big inswinger. #BBL10
— Ian (@Ian__P) January 25, 2021
The Thunder also banked a bonus point in their Adelaide Oval triumph to rise to third on the ladder and seal a berth in playoffs, starting on Friday.
Adelaide slip to fourth spot and are relying on results of the last three regular-season games on Tuesday falling their way.
The finals door is open for Hobart Hurricanes (fifth), Brisbane Heat (sixth) and Melbourne Stars (seventh).
Hales leads run chase and BBL
And those three franchises can largely thank Hales, the tournament's leading run-scorer.
The Englishman reached his half-century from just 31 balls and combined with captain Callum Ferguson for a match-winning partnership.
Hales and Ferguson (46no from 33 balls) then registered a century stand from just 64 balls to cruise to victory.
"He (Hales) is just a class act," Ferguson said.
"We were really keen to get him across a couple of years ago and it has paid off big-time.
"He was really keen to prove a point and prove a lot of people wrong and he has done that, and some, over the last two years."
Earlier, Jake Weatherald played a lone hand in the Strikers's 4-115, carrying his bat through the reduced innings.
The lefthander cracked eight fours and four sixes and dominated his side's scoring.
At the seven-over midway point, Weatherland had scored 29 of Adelaide's 3-37 after the dismissals of Alex Carey (two), Phil Salt (one) and Travis Head (two).
It took until the 11th over - the sole power surge over in the restricted match - for another batsman to reach the boundary, when Jon Wells struck consecutive fours.
Weatherland repeated that feat in the same Milne over, reaching his half-century from 36 balls.
Wells (21 from 18 balls) fell in the 13th over, ending a 63-run partnership with Weatherald, who continued a late flourish.
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