Brisbane Heat all-rounder Ben Laughlin pulled off one of the most stunning catches in The Eliminator BBL Finals clash against the Adelaide Strikers to dismiss Michael Neser.
It all happened in 18th over of Strikers’ innings bowled by Marnus Labuschagne when Michael Neser tried to play a slog shot towards the cow corner boundary at the Gabba.
Neser slog-swept a low full-toss which was pitched outside off. However, he mistimed the ball which went into the sky near the deep midwicket region. Laughlin ran from mid-on and launched himself forward, to pluck a one-handed sensation.
“INCREDIBLE BEN LAUGHLIN! @BKTtires| #BBL10,” read the caption on the video of the catch uploaded by Cricket Australia’s official Twitter handle.
ICC also tweeted the video of Laughlin’s stunning catch and captioned it,” You cannot do this, Ben Laughlin!”.
Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist were full of praises of Laughlin’s efforts and said that they had just witnessed something special.
“That might be, if not the best of this season, one of the best ever in the competition. My god, that’s good. That’s going to get better and better the more you watch this. If this gets over to America, they will be stunned,”Gilchrist said.
“That’s right up there with the best of all time I reckon,” Waugh added.
Labuschagne has taken nine wickets in four BBL games since returning from Test duty and has Laughlin to thank for his most recent.
The 38-year-old bowler sprinted 25 metres around the boundary before launching himself to pluck the ball one-handed while horizontal in the air to claim a sensational catch to get rid of Michael Nesar.
“I didn’t think he was going to get there and he pulled out the big swan dive,” Labuschagne said.
“Fielding is an attitude and he’s one of our best at 38 so it’s great to see him leading the charge like that.”
Opting to bat first in the Eliminator, the Travis Head-led Strikers couldn’t post a challenging total on the board as they managed only 130 for 7 in 20 overs. The bulk of the damage was done by Marnus Labuschagne (3 for 13) and Mitchell Swepson (2 for 23) as no one from the Strikers’ line-up took responsibility to take the team score beyond 160.
In reply, Heat chased down the paltry target in 18.5 overs with six wickets in hand. Joe Denly scored 41 at the top before Danny Briggs removed him. Labuschagne, who impressed with the ball, failed to make a big contribution with the willow. He scored 6 runs and was dismissed by Wes Agar.
Jimmy Pierson and Joe Burns remained unbeaten with scores of 47 and 17 respectively to take their side over the finish line.
For Strikers, Peter Siddle, Agar, Neser, and Briggs all claimed one wicket each.
Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers will be the teams next seen battling it out in the Qualifier, which will take place at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
The memorable catch sent social media into a frenzy.