Little-known batsman Craig Simmons scored the fastest century in Big Bash League history to inspire the Perth Scorchers to a thrilling five-run victory over the Adelaide Strikers in Thursday night’s Twenty20 match at the WACA.
The 31-year-old opening batsman hammered eight fours and eight sixes on the way to a 39-ball hundred, which easily eclipsed the previous record of 44 balls, by Luke Wright of Melbourne Stars in 2012.
He ended up with 102 off 41 balls, which lifted Perth to 203-7.
In reply, the Adelaide Strikers could muster 198-6 after needing 17 runs for victory off the last over, bowled by Pakistan paceman Yasir Arafat.
According to News.com.au, Simmons, who has been around the domestic cricket scene for a while, first made his name while playing for Australia at the 2002 under-19 World Cup, and looked set for higher honours as he shone in a team featuring a host of future stars including George Bailey, Cameron White, Shaun Marsh and Xavier Doherty.
However, the report mentioned that the left-hander made an underwhelming first-class debut for Western Australia and before long was back playing state cricket in coloured clothing.
But Simmons showed a glimpse of his potential in the 20-over game by top-scoring for the New South Wales Blues against Victoria and although he was not in the Scorchers' Big Bash squad at the start of the winter, he was rewarded for his good form in grade cricket with a call-up to the squad, the report added.
Image: Craig Simmons of the Scorchers hits a six during the Big Bash League match between Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers at WACA in Perth, Australia.
Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images