A fantastic Big Bash century from the Melbourne Stars’ Peter Handscomb, as they beat the Perth Scorchers by three wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), was overshadowed by an unfortunate seagull who received a stinging blow whilst encroaching onto the playing area.
The bird found out the hard way just how hard a cricket ball can be when it was struck by an Adam Voges pull-shot during the first innings of the game.
The seagull was at first motionless as people feared the worst but then seemed to make a remarkable recovery after the Melbourne Stars fielder Rob Quiney took it upon himself to play doctor.
After being carefully removed from the field by Quiney, and being placed behind the boundary, the seagull seemed to shake off the blow, lift itself onto two feet and take the acclaim of the near 35,000 MCG crowd who gave him one of the best ovations of the day.
It was also revealed that once security had taken the bird away from the playing area it was taken to the nearby Yarra Park and released, seemingly over the terrifying blow it had just received! A truly remarkable recovery.
Seagulls have long been associated with cricket, especially in Australia where they are often found loitering on outfields, but this seagull has to count itself as one of the unluckiest and luckiest of them all, all in one day.
What about the match?
In the match itself the Melbourne Stars were thankful for Handscomb’s exhilarating knock of 103 off 64 balls as the Stars emerged victorious, after looking to be heading for defeat for most of the match.
Batting first Perth hit 179 for the loss of just two wickets as an opening stand of 127 between Shaun Marsh (79 from 51 balls) and Michael Klinger (71 from 48 balls) gave the Scorchers a fantastic start to the match.
The visitors then reduced the Stars to 28-3 in reply as Cameron White (13) and English duo Luke Wright (1) and Kevin Pietersen (0) failed to deliver on this occasion.
However, it was Handscomb who turned the match around with an outstanding innings that included six fours and five sixes, at a strike rate of over 160, and he fittingly brought up his century and the winning runs by hitting Perth’s Andrew Tye for six. Perth’s Yasir Arafat (4-27) will have been very disappointed to be on the losing side after an excellent spell of bowling for the Scorchers but unfortunately the Perth side had no answer to Handscomb and his heroics.
Riding their luck
Perth will count themselves unlucky as prior to this match Handscomb’s previous highest score was just 25!The victory leaves the Stars in third place in the Big Bash table but on the same number of points as second-placed Perth.
Both sides will now meet again in the semi-finals in Perth on Sunday, which is sure to be another fantastic advert for the Big Bash in Australia. The other semi-final, between the Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers, who finished first and fourth, will take place the day before in Adelaide.