Jofra Archer, the Sussex pace-bowling allrounder who played for West Indies at the Under-19 level, has become one of the most talked-about players in this year’s Big Bash after his stunning contributions for Hobart Hurricanes. It follows on from an impressive spell in the Bangladesh Premier League and he is in the IPL auction next weekend, where he is expected to fetch a hefty sum. Though he was already turning heads on the English domestic scene last season with 61 Championship wickets, here are a some of the moments in Australia that have made the cricket world sit up.
Debut double: v Melbourne Renegades
On his BBL debut for the Hurricanes, Archer couldn’t help his team to victory but still finished with standout figures of 2 for 17 from his four overs. He was the only bowler in the match to concede less than a run a ball. Pushing the speed gun above 145kph, he dismissed Marcus Harris and Tom Cooper in the space of four deliveries.
A ‘cult hero’: v Adelaide Strikers
Archer played a key role in defending 183, striking at vital moments to claim 3 for 15. A scorching 148kph short ball did for Alex Carey. Later he returned to snap a 102-run stand between Travis Head and Colin Ingram that was putting the Strikers on course for victory, even if the scalp of Head with a full-toss owed a little to good fortune. He then rounded things off by trapping Jake Lehmann lbw in the final over, leading to the tournament Twitter feed to dub him “a new cult hero.”
The catch: v Brisbane Heat
A cliff-hanger of a game in which a moment of individual brilliance from Archer became overshadowed by the controversial obstructed-the-field dismissal of Alex Ross. In the 15th over, Archer was bowling to Ben Cutting. He sent down a full delivery that Cutting drilled off the middle of the bat back towards Archer who stuck out his right hand to pluck the ball from thin air. The nonchalant celebration as he stared at Cutting was almost as good.
Run out No. 1: v Adelaide Strikers
The Hurricanes had been given a battering by the Strikers’ opening pair of Alex Carey and Jake Weatherald as they added 171. Archer returned to close out the innings and broke the stand with a magnificent piece of fielding off his own bowling. Carey dug out a full delivery to the on side; Archer sprinted across in his follow-through, dived, stopped the ball, and then, while still lying on the floor, hit the non-striker’s stumps direct. It had to be seen to be believed. To cap it all, his last two overs went for just seven runs and he bagged three wickets including leaving Jake Lehmann flat in the crease with a final-ball yorker.
Run out No. 2: v Perth Scorchers
The short ball to remove Michael Klinger was impressive enough: a thunderbolt that ricocheted off the helmet (taking the stemguard with it) and the ball bouncing down into the stumps. But Archer was to outdo himself. Adam Voges heaved a pull to deep midwicket and, reasonably enough, wanted the second run. Archer swooped around the boundary and produced a direct hit at the striker’s end.