JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Perth Scorchers' Craig Simmons clubs Sydney Sixers into submission to reach Big Bash final

Club man: Craig Simmons of the Scorchers plays a pull shot on his way to a century against the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash semi-final at the SCG.

Club man: Craig Simmons of the Scorchers plays a pull shot on his way to a century against the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash semi-final at the SCG. Photo: Matt King

Craig Simmons was predominantly a club cricketer before this summer but on Wednesday night he upstaged some of the nation's best young fast bowlers as the Sydney Sixers' Big Bash League campaign ended in bizarre fashion.

In a semi-final marred by rain, the Sixers were obliterated by Simmons' hurricane-force innings and came within a minute of being saved by misty drizzle but ultimately lost by five runs.

Needing six to win off the final ball of the five-over run chase after Nic Maddinson breathed life into game with a whirlwind 36, Brett Lee failed to make contact against Nathan Coulter-Nile in what could be the veteran's final game in Australia.

The home side's run chase did not begin until 10.35pm, one minute before the latest allowed start, and was reduced to five overs.

The loss not only ended the Sixers' dream of winning a second BBL title but also denied them another tilt at the lucrative Champions League, for which qualification would have guaranteed the franchise and Cricket NSW an $800,000 pay day.

And they were brought down by a 31-year-old born only a stone's throw from the SCG.

The Paddington-born Simmons, who has played only seven first-class matches, creamed 112 off only 58 balls.

He now owns the two highest scores in BBL3, the fastest century in the BBL's short history and has hit more sixes than any other player this tournament.

His innings against the Sixers was only five shy of the overall record set by the Melbourne Stars' English import Luke Wright.

Simmons' effort took a toll, however, straining a groin muscle which prevented him from taking the field in the second innings.

Simmons showed little respect to the Sixers' star-studded attack, which includes a pair of young guns who were playing for Australia last week - Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood - and one of the country's finest pacemen of all time Brett Lee.

Simmons even had the temerity to get down on one knee and smash Lee, fourth on Australia's all-time Test wickets list, over the long-on boundary.

So sweetly was he hitting the ball, after one cover drive he had the audacity to hold his shot, as if posing for the camera.

But it was not all fireworks from the start. At one stage he had hit just five off 15 balls, which prompted some harsh responses on Twitter, including one suggesting he should smash his stumps to give someone else a go.

His critics, however were soon eating their words - and in a big way. At the height of his knock, Simmons smashed 10 sixes in 28 balls.

"Once he got going he was just ruthless. Some of the hitting was as clean as I've seen, fantastic to watch," said Scorchers captain Simon Katich.

Simmons had the Sixers seemingly mesmerised, particularly Sean Abbott and Mark Cosgrove, who were wrong-footed by a sliced drive which swerved between the pair on the cover boundary.

Simmons brought up his second century of the tournament with a French cut and was given a standing ovation by the crowd of 12570 after being run out.

Simmons' innings dominated Perth's total of 193. Outpaced early by Katich, who made 26, Simmons dominated a game-changing 93-run stand for the third wicket with Adam Voges.

Lee was the best of the Sixers' bowlers, claiming 1-27 from his four overs, while Ravi Bopara's canny changes of pace also proved hard for the Scorchers to hit.

Perth Scorchers
C SIMMONS run out (Abbott) 112
S KATICH c Lee b Hazlewood 26
S WHITEMAN c Abbott b Lee 9
A VOGES b Starc 31
M MARSH c Smith b Starc 3
A TURNER not out 0
N COULTER-NILE not out 0
Sundries (1b, 5lb, 6w) 12
Total (5 wkts - 20 overs) 193
Fall of wickets: 33 (Katich), 54 (Whiteman), 147 (Voges), 180 (Marsh), 192 (Simmons)
Bowling: B Lee 4-0-27-1 (2w), M Starc 4-0-37-2 (1w), J Hazlewood 4-0-41-1 (1w), T Copeland 2-0-16-0, R Bopara 3-0-19-0, S Abbott 2-0-35-0 (2w), M North 1-0-12-0

Sydney Sixers
M LUMB c Cummins b Behrendorff 1
N MADDINSON run out (sub) 36
R BOPARA c Hogg b Behrendorff 0
S ABBOTT run out (Whiteman) 1
M COSGROVE c Whiteman b Cummins 0
DL SMITH b Cummins 4
M NORTH not out 0
B LEE not out 0
Sundries (4b, 1lb, 1w) 6
Total (6 wkts - 5 overs) 48
Fall of wickets: 8 (Lumb), 9 (Bopara), 33 (Abbott), 33 (Cosgrove), 37 (Smith), 48 (Maddinson)
Bowling: A Thomas 1-0-7-0 (1w), J Behrendorff 1-0-5-2, B Hogg 1-0-14-0, P Cummins 1-0-6-2, N Coulter-Nile 1-0-11-0.
Result: Perth Scorchers won by 5 runs (under Duckworth-Lewis method).
Man of the Match:
Craig Simmons (Perth Scorchers)
Final: Perth Scorchers v Hobart Hurricanes, WACA Ground, February 7

28 comments so far

  • Magic stuff from the club cricketer! Now that's what I call a Big Show! Heres hoping he gets a decent IPL contract.

    Commenter
    Rob
    Date and time
    February 06, 2014, 1:11AM
    • Marcus North should NEVER be permitted to captain again. When a bloke is hitting sixes off balls pitched well up and could not get it off the square to length and short balls, he does nothing to suggest his bowlers try to maybe bowl less half volleys. Good hitting, but horrendous bowling!

      Commenter
      Lenny Pascoe
      Date and time
      February 06, 2014, 7:01AM
      • Yeah good point. It is definitely up to the captain to say 'see how those full deliveries are getting smashed and everything else isn't, have you thought about bowling not so full?'

        If a bowler needs a captain to tell him that, he shouldn't be playing elite cricket.

        Commenter
        Phat
        Date and time
        February 06, 2014, 2:31PM
    • I was dissapointed with the game. Simmons hitting was awesome but even with 2 hundreds im still not convinced he's that good. All his other scores this season have been single figures and he had plenty of luck in this innings. Brett Lee showed he's still one of the best short form players in Australia. He'd still be competitive in our national side and should be in the WC squad. I was hugely dissapointed in how the game ended. I know you cant help rain and theres people who paid to watch a game of cricket and the broadcast to consider but the Suckworth/Useless method doesnt work on matches reduced to 5 overs. They should be 10 overs min. 54 runs equates to a 20 overs score of a record 216. The target is inflated to compensate for 10 wickets in the shed but 10 wickets is negated by the fact there's only 30 balls to bowl. 10 wickets isnt an advantage when if you have enough batsmen to afford to lose a wicket on average every 3 balls you would be lucky to chased down 30 let alone 54 if you're losing them that quickly.Playing another 5 overs would have taken less than 30 mins. Yes its a very late finish but most people wouldnt have complained to see a fair ending to the match.

      Commenter
      J72
      Date and time
      February 06, 2014, 7:11AM
      • Fair point about the Duckworth Lewis system, but to be fair: the batting line up of the Sixers was always going to struggle. I think we were a much better chance of chasing 54 off 10 overs than compiling 194 off 20......

        Commenter
        Incontinentia Buttocks
        Date and time
        February 06, 2014, 9:40AM
      • Unhappy Sydney supporter? It's much easier to maintain a high run rate for 5 overs than 20 especially with wickets in hand. D/L takes this all into account and is the fairest system I've seen. Personally I think the Sydney target should have been higher. As for Simmonds I don't think you can call it luck when a bloke hits 2 centuries in Twenty/20 in a season. Every player is going to have low scores, it's the nature of the format, but I'd rather have an unknown in there who can score big than some "star" who doesn't perform.

        Commenter
        Nick
        Date and time
        February 06, 2014, 9:45AM
      • suck it up loser. Go Scorchers.

        Commenter
        micko
        Date and time
        February 06, 2014, 9:55AM
      • Brett Lee has pace, but nothing else. He does nothing with the ball other than try to bowl at 600 miles an hour. Batsmen love it. He used to be very expensive at times when he played ODI's for Australia. Lee would have 60 hit off his 10 overs, while McGrath would have just 20 (on a bad day).

        And this Duckworth-Lewis system needs to be scrapped. How can a side make nearly 200 off 20 overs, and the opposition have 5 overs to chase down 54 ?? In reality Sydney stuffed up as they should have been able to chase that down, given wickets could be sacrificed off such a short chase. They should have been made to chase 70-80 runs.

        well done scorchers, best team won it.

        Commenter
        Lager
        Date and time
        February 06, 2014, 11:14AM
      • Couldn't agree more. Sixers bowling to Simmons should have been wide as possible yorkers. Stupid trying to get a fair result in five overs. We paid to see a full 20 overs. Not happy.

        Commenter
        Jetlaggedagain
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        February 06, 2014, 11:40AM
      • The other way of looking at it is that the revised target effectively said to the Sixers - you're now 0/140 off 15...oh, and you have a power play over and none of the bowlers has more than one over left. I was surprised the Duckworth Lewis method gave such a low total to chase.

        But I do agree that it's a shame they couldn't have managed more than 5 overs. I guess there are people living near the ground to consider when they set the latest possible finish...

        Commenter
        Phil
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        February 06, 2014, 11:46AM

    More comments

    Make a comment

    You are logged in as [Logout]

    All information entered below may be published.

    Error: Please enter your screen name.

    Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Please enter your comment.

    Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

    Post to

    You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

    Thank you

    Your comment has been submitted for approval.

    Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

    Related Coverage

    Featured advertisers