Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Simmons savours the moment after scoring his century
Perth scorchers opening batsman Craig Simmons became the first man to score two centuries in one Big Bash League (BBL) season after he smashed 112 to knock the Sydney Sixers out of the tournament and carry his team to the finals, where they will face the Hobart Hurricanes.
Simmons was well supported by Jason Behrendorff and Pat Cummins, who took two wickets apiece.
Despite Simmons’ sublime innings, Sixers captain Marcus North would have been pleased with his decision to bowl early on as Scorchers captain Simon Katich was caught by Brett Lee at third man off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood for 26.
Wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman only scored nine runs before he was caught by Sean Abbott at deep midwicket off the bowling of Lee.
Simmons and Adam Voges stabilised the innings with a 93-run partnership, during which Simmons brought up his half-century, before Voges was clean bowled by Mitchell Starc for 31.
Mitchell Marsh only made three runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Starc.
Simmons ended up registering his century, but failed to convert it into a bigger score as he was run out for 112 off 58 balls, which included four boundaries and an incredible 11 sixes.
Thanks to Simmons, the Scorchers finished on 193/5 off their 20 overs.
Starc was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Hazlewood and Lee chipped in with one wicket each.
Following the conclusion of the Scorchers’ innings, the heavens parted and the match was reduced to five overs due to the long delay.
Set a target of 54 to win from five overs, the Sixers got off to a horrible start as their top five batsmen were back in the pavilion with only 37 runs on the board.
Opening batsman Nic Maddinson was the standout performer for the Sixers as he hammered 36 off 16 balls, which included five boundaries and a six, before he was run out.
Needing 17 to win off the last over, the Sixers managed to reduce their deficit to six off the last ball, but Lee was unable to make contact with the ball and he looked on in utter despair as the Scorchers celebrated their victory.
Behrendorff and Cummins picked up two wickets apiece.