It was one of the greatest night’s in Hayden Kerr’s BBL career, guiding the Sixers with the bat to a remarkable win over the Adelaide Strikers.
Despite a poor performance with ball in hand, Kerr turned it around with the bat in a fresh role at the top of the order due to Josh Philippe’s COVID absence.
Starting out shakily on an up and down wicket, he could’ve been out the first ball of the Sixers innings stumped, which Alex Carey missed. Matt Renshaw also dropped a sitter off Peter Siddle’s bowling in the final over of the powerplay.
Some might consider Renshaw both a hero and a villain on the night. Despite that poor fielding miss, he hit 36* off 20 balls to help the Strikers to 4/167, hitting three fours and two big sixes.
But after that shaky start from Kerr, he started to put his foot on the gas in the sixth over, where he hit part-time spinner Matt Short for 11 runs off four balls.
He lost debutant Jake Carder a couple of overs later, but still continued to build a solid platform with captain Moises Henriques.
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Managing to get to his first ever T20 50 off 33 balls, he put his foot on the gas again when Conway came steaming in during the 12th over.
Despite losing the experience of Henriques and Christian in the Power Surge, Kerr still charged on and was well supported by superstar allrounder Sean Abbott.
Following up his terrific bowling performance of 3/27 off his four overs, Abbott hit the ball to all parts of the SCG in his entertaining cameo. His knock of 41 off 20 balls gave Kerr the relief he needed.
In the 20th over he took control of the game, hitting a six off the fourth ball to cut the deficit to four required off only two balls.
After Jordan Silk, who came out to bat despite an injured hamstring, controversially left the field retired hurt, Kerr hit the last ball for four to guide the Sixers to their third consecutive BBL final.
The season ends here for the Strikers after a record six wins straight, bowing out at the final hurdle.
But for the Sixers, they’ll have to quickly lick their wounds and regroup for Friday’s Final against the Perth Scorchers. Already low on numbers, needing assistant coach Jay Lenton to fill in behind the stumps, captain Moises Henriques also came out of the match looking proppy.
The two already met previously in finals, with the Scorchers taking the spoils by 49 runs.
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