Travis Head again pushed his Twenty20 World Cup case by helping Adelaide Strikers reclaim the Big Bash League top spot and end Brisbane Heat’s finals hopes with an eight-wicket win at the Gabba on Friday night.
Dropped twice, Head rode his luck to thrash four sixes in a 25-ball 50 to help guide the Strikers to 2-179 in front of another record crowd.
Openers Tim Ludeman (57 not out) and man-of-the-match Mahela Jayawardene (53) set the platform for Adelaide to eclipse Brisbane’s 6-175 with eight balls to spare.
Chris Lynn (34) mis-fired for Brisbane but national selector Mark Waugh said the Heat captain and Head were in the mix for March’s World Cup.
“You can’t bat as well as they are and not have your name up in lights,” Waugh told Ten Network.
The left-handed Head was dismissed for the first time in three BBL innings, a run that included 201 runs and a match-winning ton on New Year’s Eve.
Lynn tops the BBL run-scoring with 321 runs at 64.20 with a 169.84 strike rate.
Brisbane had to win the match to keep alive their finals hopes.
Their fifth loss in six games ensured a Gabba domestic T20 record crowd of 33,783 – eclipsing the old mark of 32,969 in 2013-14 – went home disappointed.
Adelaide’s only concern is Sri Lankan great Jayawardene who suffered a suspected quad strain.
He pulled up lame after a quick single and tried to save his legs by striking five fours and three sixes.
He was eventually trapped in front by Windies spinner Samuel Badree (1-23 off four), ending an 86-run stand with Ludeman.
Jayawardene, 38, hoped he would be available for the Strikers’ run to the finals.
“I think it is a quad. It probably has something to do with age,” he told the Ten Network.
“Hopefully it is nothing serious.”