- Hobart Hurricanes defeat Melbourne Renegades in record BBL chase
- Son of pace great Craig McDermott hits 114 off 52 deliveries to seal win
From replacing Kumar Sangakkara to scoring a match-winning century, Ben McDermott’s Big Bash League season has been nothing short of surreal. The 22-year-old stole the show in just his second match for the Hobart Hurricanes, hitting 114 off 52 balls to help his side to a remarkable win over the Melbourne Renegades on Thursday night.
Chasing a record 223 to win at Etihad Stadium, the Hurricanes looked to have little chance after losing two early wickets. Enter McDermott, whose blistering knock – the second-highest score in BBL history – set up the Hurricanes to pull off the unlikeliest of victories and keep their season alive.
Speaking after the match, the son of former Australian Test paceman Craig McDermott didn’t hesitate to label it his best ever innings. “Certainly by a long way,” McDermott said. “I’ve never got a hundred in Twenty20 cricket. To do it on the big stage was awesome.”
McDermott, who joined the Hurricanes after stints with the Renegades and the Brisbane Heat, said he had felt under pressure early in his innings before some calming words from veteran George Bailey helped everything to click. But it was nothing compared to the pressure of replacing out-of-form Sri Lankan great Sangakkara against the Sydney Thunder earlier in the week.
“I was listed to bat six for the last game and ended up going up to three just before we went out,” McDermott said. “It was a little bit more pressure once I found out I was batting three and actually taking Kumar’s position in the side.”
While the win over the Renegades is a huge morale-booster for the Hurricanes, they’re far from certain of making the finals with three wins to their name and one game remaining. The equation is likely to be clear by the time they face the Perth Scorchers on January 21 after an unusual week-long break.
“It is a big break. It’s been congested a little bit so far but it’s OK” McDermott said. “We get a bit more time to reassess and debrief this game and try and do it again next game.”