Travis Head and his Strikers team mates are the toast of South Australian cricket after a brilliant victory in the Big Bash League Series seven (BBL07) Grand Final victory at Adelaide Oval last Sunday afternoon.
Playing the Hobart Hurricanes, Head lead the team to a 25-run victory on the back of a brilliant century by Jake Weatherald and 140-run second wicked association between the skipper and fellow left hander, Weatherald in the impressive Strikers total of 2/202.
Initially the Hurricanes made a good fist of the run chase but critical overs from first gamer Liam O’Connor and astute captaincy from Head ensured a great victory in front of upwards of 40,000 fans.
“(It was) Nice for a lot of the guys that have played in them to celebrate winning, hopefully this is something that we can continue with the same group of guys,” Head said in his press conference after the game.
“I’m sure this team will roll out the same next season and we expect to win.
“We’ve set the example now with the energy around the group, how good everyone has been together and gelled is what’s made it more special.
“(With the bat) I didn’t probably accelerate as well as I would have liked, and target a few guys I probably missed.
“It was nice to take a back seat to ‘Weathers’ (Weatherald) today, he was exceptional and that’s what we asked for today.”
While Weatherald was the star with a superb 115, from 70 balls which including nine boundaries and eight sixes, Head play a perfect support role in the Strikers first BBL championship win, making 44 not out including a pair of fours and a maximum.
As importantly on Friday night Head, who was released from Australian Twenty20 duties, played a critical “Man of the Match” role in the Strikers semi-final victory over the Melbourne Renegades.
Head produced a game high 85 not out in 57 balls faced in the semi as his team scrambled to a total of 5 for 178.
As importantly in the field he showed great composure and leadership under immense pressure.
The Renegades were in front of the game for most of the evening during their run chase, but were restricted to 4/177 and the Strikers, against the odds, gained entry into the Grand Final by the smallest of margins.
It was interesting to note among all the post-game celebrations, Head still had time for his mates at South Gawler.
After a lap of honour he handed the cup to them, so they could hold it aloft.
On Monday and with fellow national squad member, Alex Carey, Head was already back on a plane to Hobart to Australian duties.
Head’s part in the Strikers glory was still up in the air until late last week.
“I didn’t really know if I was playing until I landed in Sydney yesterday (with the Australian team),” Head explained on Sunday night.
“Then I got off the flight after the semi-final win and got a message from ‘Boof’ (Australian coach Darren Lehmann) saying that I was coming back to Adelaide.
“I didn’t know if I was playing, I knew I was 12th man for the last (Australian) match but I went back for the last one as back up and I didn’t really know if I was coming back.”
Head, 24, also captained the South Australian Under 19s team to a national championship in 2012-13 and is the youngest Redbacks skipper in the state’s history.