Smokin Simmo slays Strikers
Smokin' Simmo slays Strikers

Craig Simmons will consider nominating for next month’s lucrative IPL auction after smashing a record-breaking century to lead Perth Scorchers to a five-run victory over Adelaide Strikers at the WACA Ground last night.

The 31-year-old opener, who was under pressure to hold his spot after returns of 0, 9 and 8in his previous three innings, clubbed eight sixes and eight fours in front of a record crowd of 19,495 en route to the fastest ton in Big Bash League history.

Simmons reached his 100 off just 39 balls, beating Melbourne Star Luke Wright’s previous mark of 44 deliveries.

He fell for 102 as the Scorchers reached 7-203, their highest BBL total.

The Strikers were gallant in their run chase, amassing 6-198 thanks to solid contributions from Phil Hughes (58), Nathan Reardon (30) and a late-innings cameo by Tim Ludeman (15 not out).

Perth’s tense victory consolidated their hold on second spot and secured a third consecutive semifinal berth.

They will host a semifinal, most likely against Sydney Sixers, with a win over the ladder-leading Melbourne Stars on January 27.

Simmons thanked coach Justin Langer for his support, admitting he thought he might be dropped before the game.

The Rockingham-Mandurah batsman was unsure how his knock would change his life, but said he would have a look at the February 12 IPL auction.

“At the moment I get up at about 5.30am tomorrow and go to work (as an apprentice at Western Power) so whatever happens from here happens,” Simmons said.

“I have only just turned 31, so you look around you tonight, you’ve got Simon Katich at 37, 38, Hoggy at 43 so it’s not as if the game has passed me yet.”

Exciting young fast bowler Pat Cummins was solid in his Scorchers debut, operating above 140km/h after being injected into the line-up at the expense of Alfonso Thomas. He finished with 1-40 off his four overs.

“I think it may take one or two games just to remember how it is in a game and be back bowling how I was,” Cummins said.

The West Australian

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