Melbourne: A spectator turnout of 12,285 at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the launch of the Big Bash League (BBL) with the opening match between Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat which was won by Sydney by smashing fifty by wicket-keeper batsman Brad Haddin.
The old and the new Australian players mixed well to usher in a new era in Australian cricket, though some cricketers did not like the Twenty20 league timing when they were preparing for the Boxing Day Test against India.
Maybe, a better competition curtain-raiser would have been hurricane hitters Chris Gayle and David Warner coming out to open for the Sydney Thunder against champion spinner Shane Warne and the Melbourne Stars, rather than them performing before a 45,000-plus crowd Saturday night.
There was enough drama alright on the opening night as Sydney Sixers scored 140 for three to overhaul Brisbane Heat’s 138 for eight with eight balls to spare.
Brett Lee produced a 140km/h thunderbolt that busted the nose of Brendon McCullum, former leg-spinner Stuart MacGill wound back the clock to take two wickets, and Steve Smith produced yet another sensational catch inside the boundary rope to prove why he is one of world cricket’s best fielders, reports Herald Sun.
And Test keeper Brad Haddin cracked a rapid-fire 76 off 59 balls with five sixes and five fours to help the Sixers to a seven-wicket win over the Heat.
Lee dropped one in short to smash McCullum flush in the face. Seeing blood ooze from the nose, Lee rushed to his aid and indicated to the hut that McCullum needed help. The New Zealander returned to resume batting, but did not last much longer, becoming MacGill’s first victim.
McCullum said he was embarrassed to have been forced to leave the field so early, but just as glad it was not all that serious.