WHEN Twenty20 cricket arrived on our doorsteps a few years ago, there was a school of thought that it was going to be purely a batsmen's game which would see the demise of all bowlers.
I think this BBL season has thoroughly "busted" that myth.
The competition I played in was a bowler-dominated one, in spite of some of the spectacular batting onslaughts that took place.
The successful bowlers employed all manner of tricks. The good old yorker came back into fashion, along with countless varieties of slower balls. There was some good-quality fast swing bowling with new and old ball and some skilful spin bowling which made batsmen really have to think about how they were going to score their runs.
The BBL final on Wednesday night was no different. The two teams, that according to the critics lacked batting depth, comfortably contained the two most skilful and experienced bowling attacks in the semi-finals.
And they saved the best until the end with a last-ball thriller at Manuka Oval in Canberra to give the Perth Scorchers back-to-back trophies.
Both clubs have been the most consistent in the four years of the BBL, with Perth contesting the final every year, and Sydney winning the inaugural title. Along the way, both have done so with a largely consistent core of players.
It was great to see one final chainsaw from Brett "Binga" Lee as a final-ball hat-trick nearly unfolded as the ultimate farewell to Australia's fastest bowler.
He has been a great servant to Australian cricket and deserves every accolade that comes his way. At his age, to keep improving like a fine bottle of red wine is great to see, and it gives players hope that maybe we can play this game longer than we actually think possible. I hope this is the case for Queensland stalwart James Hopes.
With five Sheffield Shield games remaining this season, Hopesy is just that many away from playing his 100th first-class match for his state.
The skipper is a bit like Brett Lee in that his bowling has maintained a high standard in the back end of his career - he was the Brisbane Heat's most economical bowler and leading wicket-taker this season, and he continues to confound batsmen with his accuracy and determination.
After starting as a batting all-rounder, he's comfortable batting at eight now where he can mount a rescue mission if needed, or scare up some quick runs against a tiring attack.
With our focus now on Shield cricket, it will be great to see if we can make the next five games special ones for us, and for Hopesy.
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