Top 20 in 2020: Biggest BBL moments, 14-12
Ahead of the 10th season of the KFC BBL, we continue our countdown of the most memorable moments in the tournament's history
17 November 2020, 02:51 PM AEST
Big sixes, great catches and thrilling finishes - the first nine seasons of the KFC Big Bash League has had all that and much, much more.
To mark the competition's 10th season this summer, we're counting down 20 of the biggest moments from the competition's history, be they good, bad or just downright bizarre.
We continue today with numbers 14 to 12 in the countdown and will continue to re-live some more classic moments over the next eight days.
14) Magician Malinga takes six of the best
Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Stars, Perth, BBL|02
By Sam Ferris
The fans at the WACA Ground on December 12, 2012 bought tickets to the Big Bash, but were instead treated to a magic show starring white-ball wizard Lasith Malinga.
The Melbourne Stars' import was at the peak of his powers as he bamboozled the Perth Scorchers' batters in a bowling display that has not been bettered in the nine seasons of the BBL.
In four overs, Malinga reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out two of the best in his repertoire – his pinpoint yorker and deceptive slower ball.
Performing with his trademark showmanship and that famous slinging action, Malinga started his act with a blistering yorker to uproot the off-stump of opening batter Marcus North.
A length ball that nipped away in his next over found the leading edge of Marcus Stoinis before his slower ball removed his next four victims.
Hilton Cartwright was good enough to put bat to ball but could only spoon it to the waiting mid-wicket fielder, while Nathan Coulter-Nile, Tom Triffitt and Joe Mennie failed to connect.
Coulter-Nile and Triffitt were completely perplexed and gloveman Triffitt played all around a full toss that hit halfway up his front pad to be the textbook definition of leg before wicket.
Malinga's superb display played the leading hand in dismissing Perth for just 69 before a bizarre ending to an extraordinary match.
Under gloomy skies, Melbourne raced to 0-29 from two overs when a downpour forced the teams from the field.
The revised five-over target was just five runs, so when the rain stopped and play resumed just one ball was bowled and the Stars were declared winners.
While the bizarre conclusion earned its fair share of attention, top billing and all the headlines belonged to Malinga for his brilliant, bewildering and breath-taking bowling performance, one that would take a miracle to better.
"He bowled beautifully," said Scorchers skipper Simon Katich.
"He bowled yorkers that were on the money from the word go, swung the ball and then he had good variations with his slower ball and the odd bumper.
"Unfortunately we just couldn't counter it and he won them the game singlehandedly."
13) Gayle equals world record for fastest fifty
Melbourne Renegades v Adelaide Strikers, Perth, BBL|05
By Andrew Ramsey
He surely didn't know it as he sent fans at Dockland Stadium ducking for safety, but Chris Gayle's most memorable contribution to the KFC BBL would also double as his farewell.
The self-proclaimed 'universe boss', whose sauntering swagger and towering ego made him a polarising figure even before his final controversy, had returned to the competition in the twilight of a remarkable career.
Gayle was aged 36 and in his 17th season as an international cricketer when he turned out for the Melbourne Renegades in BBL|05, signed to don the red jersey alongside fellow West Indian Dwayne Bravo and to form a high-octane opening partnership with Aaron Finch.
Gayle had previously represented Western Australia in the state-based T20 competition that preceded the BBL, before spending two seasons with the Sydney Thunder, where he had averaged just 19 in his final stint in 2012-13.
But the left-hander's return to the competition brought a flurry of hype due to his 215 from 157 deliveries scored against Zimbabwe at the 2015 ICC World Cup staged in Australia the preceding summer.
Gayle also held (and still holds) the record for the highest score in a national T20 competition, having clubbed an unbeaten 175 from 66 balls faced for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League in 2013.
At the top of the Renegades order, he was predictably hit and miss.
An uncharacteristically cautious four from 10 balls faced against cross-town rivals the Melbourne Stars was followed by a blazing 41 from 15 against the Hobart Hurricanes, an innings soon overshadowed by his infamous, insensitive boundary-side interview with television reporter Mel McLaughlin.
Gayle subsequently apologised but was fined $10,000 for his demeaning comments by the Renegades, who entered their final match of BBL|05 against the Adelaide Strikers needing a sizeable win to reach the play-off rounds.
When the Strikers posted a hefty 5-170, the Renegades knew they had to chase it down in 15.5 overs or less to progress.
So Gayle set about achieving it off his own bat.
He took to 21-year-old left-armer Greg West, who opened the bowling for the Strikers in just his second BBL appearance, clouting four successive sixes.
Then it was the turn of Ben Laughlin, one of the most experienced and cool-headed bowlers in the Strikers' line-up, who replaced West but fared little better, conceding 22 runs as Gayle bludgeoned his way to 44 from 10 balls faced.
A seventh six from Laughlin's next delivery would have seen him better Yuvraj Singh's record for the fastest T20 half-century, pummelled for India against England at the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa (including six sixes in a single over from Stuart Broad).
When Laughlin landed a textbook yorker that yielded only a single, Gayle could then only equal Yuvraj's benchmark, which he duly did by launching Strikers skipper Travis Head's part-time off-spin into the fence at long-on.
His 12-ball half-century smashed the previous mark for the fastest BBL 50, held by Strikers keeper Tim Ludeman (off 18 balls in BBL|04), who watched in silent awe from behind the stumps as his achievement was overtaken.
But Gayle's dismissal in Head's next over – a top edge that nearly hit the stadium roof before Ludeman safely pouched it – came amid a Renegades batting collapse that ultimately saw them bowled out for 143 and thereby miss the finals.
While Gayle was not prohibited from returning to the BBL in the wake of his comments, it proved to be his ultimate outing for the Renegades.
And even though he turned back the clock with a couple of innings for Kings XI Punjab in the recently concluded IPL tournament – including 99 from 63 balls faced against Rajasthan Royals last month – at age 41, it's almost certain his BBL days are done.
12) Warne commentates McCullum's wicket
Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Stars, Brisbane, BBL|01
By Martin Smith
Players being 'on the mic' during games has become such an intrinsic part of the KFC BBL that it's easy to forget it was just another novelty when the competition began a decade ago.
While commonplace in made-for-television exhibition games, players being mic'd up during a competitive match had rarely been seen in Australia until the franchise-based competition launched in the summer of 2011-12.
For broadcasters, it was a new tool that enhanced their coverage more than ever before. For their audience, it offered a greater level of understanding of the game they were watching.
And, has he had been for most of the previous two decades, the man at the centre of this mini cricketing revolution was Shane Keith Warne.
Excitement, uncertainty and a healthy dose of scepticism were rife heading into the BBL's first season, but the new competition was given a welcome boost when Warne announced he was making a comeback, five years after his retirement from international cricket.
The news, unsurprisingly, made global headlines and gave the brand-new Melbourne Stars the kind of exposure only Warne can generate.
And in just his second match of the tournament, the 42-year-old bowled an over to Kiwi batting tyro Brendon McCullum that would give the new competition immediate legitimacy.
And he took the viewers around the world along with him.
"I think Brendon is obviously setting himself for this over," Warne, standing at the top of his mark, said in conversation with Fox Cricket commentator Brendon Julian, his former Australian teammate.
And as he prepared to walk in to bowl his first delivery, he added: "So I might try and go a bit wider to him, a bit slower to start".
Warne did as he said and very nearly produced the result he was looking for; McCullum advanced at a slow, looping leg-break but managed only to slice it high into the off-side, the ball landing fortuitously into the vacant gap at cover point.
Two balls later, Warne repeated the dose by perfectly predicting McCullum's next move, only this time it led to the ultimate success.
"He might be trying to shape to sweep one after that first one, or maybe even go inside out again a bit harder," he said.
"So I might try and slide one in there – fast."
Once again, McCullum fell beautifully into the trap; he looked to sweep but couldn't catch up with the faster delivery, which cannoned into his stumps.
"Yeah not bad, BJ," Warne quipped as he celebrated the dismissal, which had given the cricketing public an insight into the genius that led him to more than 700 Test wickets.
And having played a role in a historic piece of play for a competition in its infancy, McCullum – for once – didn't mind being dismissed.
"He's the oracle, isn't he? He's a genius," he said after play.
"I was trying to pay the respect by looking to play a fine lap shot to him to get off strike then try to attack the other guys.
"But he was just too good. If you get beaten to the punch by one of the world's greatest players, there's no harm in that. (It's like something from a) bucket list."
Return to cricket.com.au tomorrow as we continue our countdown of the most memorable moments in BBL history
Top 20 Biggest BBL Moments (so far)
14) Magician Malinga takes six of the best
13) Gayle equals world record for fastest fifty
12) Warne commentates McCullum’s wicket