Travis Head’s 85no has helped the Adelaide Strikers set the Renegades 179 to win the BBL semi-final.Paceman Ben Laughlin says he buggered up the ball that sent the Adelaide Strikers into their first BBL grand final.
The Strikers pipped the Melbourne Renegades by one run in a Friday night semi-final thriller at Adelaide Oval.
Adelaide will host the Hobart Hurricanes in Sunday’s final.
The Renegades’ West Indian batsman Kieron Pollard needed three runs to win from Laughlin’s final ball, but he swung and missed and the could only scamper one bye.
Laughlin, asked if he delivered the ultimate ball where he wanted, replied: “Hell no.”
“It was a horrible length ball that didn’t come out really well,” Laughlin said.
“Sometimes you get lucky though, don’t you?
“It’s either I hit and we win, or he hits and they win.
“You know halfway down … that it wasn’t right. I was wishing it would all come together and I got lucky.”
Chasing 179 to win, the Renegades finished 4-177.
Strikers captain Travis Head was a central figure in the white-knuckle win – and he wasn’t even supposed to be playing.
Head was given a late release from the n Twenty20 squad to lead his Strikers and smacked an unbeaten 85 from 57 balls in Adelaide’s 5-178.
Head then opened the bowling and claimed the key wicket of Renegades opener Marcus Harris, who blasted 45 off 29 deliveries.
Harris gave the Renegades momentum in a brisk 71-run stand with Tim Ludeman (28 off 20 balls) for the second wicket, but the pair were dismissed in a five-ball span.
Tom Cooper (36no) and Dwayne Bravo (26 from 16 balls) regained momentum for the Renegades with a 52-run stand but, after Bravo’s dismissal, they still required 39 from the last four overs.
Pollard and Cooper needed 20 runs from the last two overs; then 13 from the final six balls bowled by Laughlin.
Earlier, Head and opener Jake Weatherald thrilled the parochial 36,298-strong home crowd with a blazing partnership.
The duo combined for a 104-run second-wicket partnership from only 76 balls.
Weatherald made 57 from 43 balls and Head put the finishing touches on a challenging target for the Renegades who had five bowlers – Chris Tremain, Joe Mennie, Bravo, Jack Wildermuth and Pollard – take a wicket each.