Captain Trav leads Strikers to first BBL championship

FORMER South Gawler cricketer Travis Head has achieved one of the greatest accomplishments of his career to date, captaining the Adelaide Strikers to its first-ever Big Bash League (BBL) championship on Sunday.
The Strikers were victorious by 25 runs in the Twenty20 competition final against the Hobart Hurricanes at Adelaide Oval after posting an insurmountable 2/202 batting first – the highest-ever score in a BBL final.
Head was visibly emotional after the match when speaking during a post-match interview.
“Wow, that’s unbelievable, really,” he said of the victory.
“We had a few opportunities in the past that we haven’t been able to take, so it’s nice.
“The fans, they expect us to win and it’s nice to be able to repay them a little bit with some silverware.”
Head was instrumental as skipper in both the Strikers’ semi-final and final victories, both with the bat and through some deft captain’s choices.
Having been released from his international Twenty20 duties for Australia to play in the semi-final against Melbourne Renegades on Friday night, Head posted a game-high 85 not out off 57 balls to strike up a 104-run partnership with opener Jake Weatherald and help the Strikers reach 5/178.
Then, in a bold move, the former South Gawler cricketer chose to bowl himself as the Strikers’ opening bowler, despite being a part-time spinner.
In the first over of his second spell, Head snared the important wicket of opener Marcus Harris – who was threatening to break the match open – before finishing with the impressive figures of 1/27 off four overs.
His choices of leaving Michael Neser and Ben Laughlin to bowl the final two overs also proved decisive, with the pair managing to hold off a rampaging Kieran Pollard (29 off 21) from scoring the required 20 runs to win.
Head continued his good form in the final by playing a back-up role to Weatherald, allowing the opener to score a blistering 115 off 70 balls – the first-ever century in a BBL final – while he pitched in with an unbeaten 44 off 29 in a partnership of 140.
Again choosing to bowl himself first, the Strikers captain picked up the Hurricanes’ first wicket, that of fellow Australian cricketer Tim Paine.
Head finished the 2017/18 BBL season with 374 runs – the fourth-highest-scoring batsman in the competition.

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Matteo Gagliardi joined The Bunyip in August 2016 with almost two years experience in regional print media, having previously worked at a community newspaper in Swan Hill, Victoria. Covering politics, local government and crime, Matteo likes to sink his teeth into hard-hitting issues, but also enjoys spending time getting to know the Gawler community. Matteo also has a passion for science, agriculture and the environment, and has previously worked as a media officer at the Australian Science Media Centre.

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