Travis Head played an unbelievable innings in the New Year’s Eve Big Bash League game to get the Adelaide Strikers over the line for a freakish victory, which seemed impossible just a half an hour earlier.
Up against the Sydney Sixers and in front of a sell-out 46000 plus crowd at Adelaide Oval on New Year’s Eve, Head’s heroics has given this local lad megastar status as the third generation of cricket – the Twenty20 – takes a stranglehold on the sporting ethos.
Turning 22 just two days earlier, this innings and his journey over the past 12 months only proves he has the cricket world at his feet.
Head finished on 101 not out from just 53 balls, including four boundaries and nine sixes, playing the innings of a lifetime.
His Strikers team mate and Australian one-day cricketer Kane Richardson explained the performance perfectly.
“It was the best innings I’ve ever seen,” Richardson said.
“He (Head) made his 200 in the Matador Cup, but that was in front of 10 people in Sydney.
“Tonight’s (NYE) effort was in front of 46,000 fans and won us the game.”
Earlier the Strikers were heading towards certain defeat at 5/123 against the Sixers, and when Alex Ross departed the hosts still needed 54 runs from 3.5 overs (21 balls).
Head took 27 from Abbott’s penultimate over, the 18th of the match, to bring the Strikers back onto the contest.
At this point the Strikers needed 24 runs from 12 balls.
He took 11 from Doug Bollinger's 19th over, including the shot of the day, a cover drive for six.
Head dispatched Abbott’s first two balls of the 20th over for six to tie the scores.
At this point, he personally was on 95 and another milestone was possible.
He completed a miraculous night with his ninth six, a unique shot that looked more like a tennis player serving and moved on to his first T20 century and the inaugural one in Adelaide Strikers history.
"I thought at one stage we were done," Head told Channel 10 in the post-match interview after he received the Man of the Match honours.
"I've been pretty not so great in this tournament so far and I hardly felt like I've contributed to the team ... it's nice to get some runs."
The New Year’s Eve performance culminates an amazing 12 months for Head.
After playing an A-grade game for South Gawler with his mates last summer in the Barossa and Light competition, Head was named the youngest ever SA Redbacks skipper in early February.
Head played for the Australian A senior team during the winter months and at the start of the Matador Cup he became the first South Australian to make a double century in 50-over interstate cricket.
After debuting as a teenager for his state, his produced his inaugural Sheffield Shield century against Western Australia after a string on 90s, which resulted in a thrilling one-wicket win at Adelaide Oval in November.
And now in this commanding individual performance, the powerhouse left-hander hit seven sixes from the final 14 balls he faced.