The fourth edition of the Big Bash League will commence this December. Here's a list of five BBL matches that went right down to the wire before going one way or the other.
Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes, Gabba, January 6, 2012:
Aided by Matthew Hayden's 51-ball 76, the Heat piled up 201 for four in their 20 overs and then seemed to have garnered enough control of the game halfway through the Hurricanes chase. In fact, after 13 overs, Hobart were only 101 for two and needed to score exactly what they had scored till then in the remaining seven overs.
Owais Shah and Travis Birt had other ideas and kept the Hurricanes in the game by hitting 17, 15, 19 and 15 from their next four overs. In fact with 35 now needed from three overs and two well-set batsmen at the crease, the Hurricanes looked favourites to win it but two better overs from Roelof van der Merwe and Dan Christian, which went for only 10 apiece brought the Heat back into the game.
Alister McDermott of the Heat celebrates with team mates after winning the T20 Big Bash League match between the Brisbane Heat and the Hobart Hurricanes.
Needing 16 to win from the last over, Shah hit a four and a six from the third and the fourth ball to bring the target down to four from two balls. A tie was the least that the Hurricanes would have expected at this stage but a yorker off the fifth ball from Alister McDermott had Birt run-out at the non-striker's end. Shah connected well off the last delivery but found a fielder to perfection on the leg-side to leave the Hurricanes short by three runs.
Hayden was declared the man of the match.
Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat, Adelaide Oval, December 13, 2012:
Another high-scoring game, another one involving the Brisbane Heat and another thriller that the Heat won. This time around, Callum Ferguson's 36-ball half-century guided the Adelaide Strikers to 185 for eight but the Heat were kept in the contest by Luke Pomersbach's 65 and middle-order cameos that did not allow the requird-rate to escalate beyond the improbable.
When Chris Lynn became the seventh wicket to fall with the score at 170, his side needed a further 16 for a win with eight balls remaining. A single from the last two balls meant the Heat needed 15 from the last six balls which then changed to 13 from four.
Gary Putland (L) had the winning runs taken off his bowling in the last over.
Gary Putland, who had been entrusted with the responsibility of bowling that last over lost his nerve and bowled a full-toss that was smashed over extra-cover for a six by Peter Forrest but just three from the next two deliveries meant Chris Hartley needed to hit a four to win it for the Heat from the last ball.
Putland bowled another full-toss, Hartley hit it inside out through extra-cover and the batsmen ran three before Ferguson dived at the boundary to make an excellent save running in from deep backward point. The umpire decided to bring in the third umpire to have a look at the replays which suggested the ball had crossed the boundary and the game was awarded to the Heat instead of it ending in a tie.
Pomersbach's 39-ball 65 won him the man of the match award.
Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers, Sydney Cricket Ground, January 18, 2012:
After a poor start to their innings, the Sixers came back through Nic Maddinson's 49 (31 balls) and Steven Smith's 25-ball 51. The Scorchers' chase was a stifled one and they were left to score 60 from the last five overs and then 51 from the final four.
Marcus North brought up his half-century in the 17th over but it still went for just 10 before the match turned on its head after just one legal delivery from Moises Henriques. Two of the first three he bowled were no-balls and those were hit for a four and a couple of sixes to make it 18 runs from one ball and while he took the wicket of Luke Ronchi in that over, the Scorchers were left with just 20 to make from 12.
Brett Lee held his nerve to win the Sydney Sixers the game against the Scorchers
Mitchell Starc bowled three dots in the 19th to bring the Sixers back into the contest but Brett Lee conceded a boundary, a no-ball and a wide from his first four balls of the final over of the innings. The Scorchers needed three off the last ball but Coulter-Nile's drive to long-on earned him a single before North was run-out going for the second that would have pushed the game into the Super Over.
Starc, who ended with figures of 3/28 from his four overs, earned a deserved man of the match award.
Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers, Sydney Cricket Ground, January 10, 2014:
Almost two years to the date, the two teams, the Sixers and the Scorchers were at it again and this time the match did end in a tie! Brett Lee pegged the Scorchers back early with a couple of wickets in the very first over of the match and despite a century-run stand for the third wicket between Simon Katich and Sam Whiteman, the Scorchers were rather slow in the first 14 overs of the innings - they got to just 89 for two.
It was the final three overs where the Scorchers accelerated and got themselves 34 runs, which helped them get to a respectable 151/5 in their 20 overs. Katich made 71 while Whiteman hit 53 while Lee ended with four wickets.
In reply, the Sixers' start was an attrocious one. Four wickets fell for 20, and at 75 for five in 11 overs, they looked like they needed some inspiration. That came from the bat of Steven Smith who blasted a 48-ball 65 and took them to the brink of a win.
Yasir Arafat bowled the Scorchers to a win over the Sixers in their BBL game.
The Sixers needed 23 from 17 balls with Smith going rather strong but Yasir Arafat struck to get rid of him at that stage. Two balls later, he had Nathan Lyon too to turn the game around yet again but a six and a four from Brett Lee and Chris Tremlett off Alfonso Thomas' 19th over left them with just seven to score from six balls.
Arafat bowled another excellent over, the final of the innings in which he took his fourth wicket - Lee - and restricted the scoring to just six runs. Needing two to win off the last ball, Tremlett barely managed to dig out a yorker back to the bowler, whose misfield allowed them to scamper a single and the match went into the Super Over.
It was Arafat who won the Super Over for the Scorchers getting rid of both the Sixers batsmen for a combined total of 1. Adam Voges hit the winning shot from the very first ball of the Super Over.
Arfat's four-wicket haul won him the man of the match award.
Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Oval, January 22, 2014:
Chasing 156 for a win, the Strikers seemed to have had the game in their bags when they needed just 38 from the final five overs with four wickets standing. The Tim Ludeman-Michael Neser stand realised 38 runs for the seventh wicket but Peter Siddle broke through with the side needing 27 from 17 balls.
Just six came from that 18th over and only seven more from the 19th bowled by Nathan Rimmington and the Strikers were left with almost too much to do off the final six balls.
Michael Neser was unable to guide the Strikes to a win over the Renegades.
A couple of braces and a four from the first four deliveries brought the equation down to five to win from two balls but Kane Richardson's drive down to long-on earned them just two runs off the last ball to leave the Renegades winner by only a run.
Earlier, the Renegades fell from 143/2 to 155/6 off their final nine balls to allow the Strikers a sniff at chasing down the modest total. Dwayne Bravo, who came in to bat at three and smashed a 33-ball 47, also picked up a couple of wickets for the Renegades and scooped up the man-of-the-match award.