What happened at the Draftstars Biggest Bash Live Final?

Can you remember the first time you ever went to the casino? Can you remember how you felt? That mix of excitement and nervousness combining to make your stomach feel like a concrete mixer tossing mortar, sand and water together. You are going there with a purpose but the likelihood is you will fail. You will probably lose the $50 you took out at the ATM with your debit card, the $50 that took you three and a half hours to earn at the local supermarket. But you will have paid for an experience. And the buzz you feel during that time will be worth more than a lousy $50.

Well, that is precisely the vibe felt by the 150 plus crowd gathered in Club 23 of Melbourne’s Crown Casino to watch the BBL 08 final. Although this time it was not $50 at stake, it was $50 thousand. And the room was not occupied by a bunch of thirsty teenagers still understanding how the thing fits in the place. No, this was Draftstars’ Biggest Bash Live Final. And it was an opportunity to take home part of Australia’s largest ever daily Fantasy Sports prize pool.

From the bloke who walked from his home around the corner in South Melbourne, to the young woman who came from Jamisontown, 50 kilometres West of Sydney, Club 23 was packed by some of the best fantasy players in Australia.

Brett Lee was on hand to offer his knowledge of the pitch and players, what it’s like to play in a BBL final and give his tips about who to select and which side would win. “Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell,” he said, to which most of the contestants agreed with those two the most fancied selections.

But it was Jackson Bird who got the wheels of the contest moving after a slow few overs, taking two early wickets, claiming an audacious runout and having the less than 20 per cent of punters who selected him eyeing off the $50k cheque more closely. With each point he scored the competitors who did not select him hunched further and further into their chair.

TazfromOz staked early claims on the grand prize by going hard on the Stars’ bowlers, and the plan seemed to be working when the Renegades were reeling at 5/65. But then Dan Christian and Tom Cooper got together in the middle of Marvel Stadium and lurched the ‘Gades to a defendable total of 145. RangaRoyal selected both of the top scoring Renegade batsmen and jumped out to a mid-game lead. Trying to keep a lid on it, RangaRoyal told the others in the room if he won he would get some nice new golf clubs and a new car.

After that, comedian Lawrence Mooney joined us. He told some jokes, impersonated Malcolm Turnbull, posed for some photos and then cleared out as the Stars strolled out to the middle ready to start their innings.

The next 12.5 overs were difficult. The Draftstars casino, and the free bar, got more of a workout than the TVs as Ben Dunk and Marcus Stoinis built a match and contest winning opening partnership. 0/93 after 12.5 overs, needing just 53 runs from 43 balls with every batsman still in the shed, this was going to be a cakewalk. The Stars had even been backed in to $1.04 at one stage.

With the finall ball of his fourth over, Kane Richardson conceded a four and lost a 24 DS point bonus for economy, dropping RangaRoyal from the lead. RangaRoyal then stormed off in Aaron Finch like style as he kissed goodbye to his new car.

When all looked lost, Cameron Boyce come on the bowl his third over. And, with the final ball of his over, he struck, rattling the cage of the seemingly impervious Marcus Stoinis.

It was a twist indeed when, three balls later, Chris Tremain coerced Peter Handscomb into a false shot and had him out for naught. The next over Ben Dunk fell for a glorious 57, also to the bowling of Boyce, and the game was back on.

Meanwhile, the Biggest Bash Live Final was taking shape. Trent_L, Codzy and Richozzz had taken a stronghold on the contest through their selections of Ben Dunk but it was still a raffle amongst the top 10.

The next ball Maxwell was caught off Tremain for one and the Stars were all but done.
The next over Harry Gurney took the wicket of Nic Maddinson and the Stars were in all sorts. Next, Dan Christian took the white ball and claimed 2/4 off of his third over to put the result of the game beyond doubt.

Still, the contest was alive. Richozzz held a two DS point lead over Trent_L with Cfrance172 their only challenger, threatening with Harry Gurney capable of cleaning up the tail.

Gurney’s final over had an appeal but no wicket and Cfrance172 was eliminated from contention.

Now, with just Dan Christian left to bowl his final over, Richozzz still holding a slender two-point lead over Trent_L, the contest was decided, unless Renegades keeper Sam Harper was involved in a wicket. Alas, he was not. The final over went off without a hitch and Richozzz was crowned the winner of the $50 thousand grand prize. The clap of fireworks from down the road at Docklands was drowned out by the cheers from Club 23 and the familiar melody of Queen’s “We Are the Champions”.

The Biggest Bash Live Final had been run and won by Melbourne local Richozzz. Tassie man Trent_L took home $30 thousand and he vowed to buy a house with whatever would be left after the evening’s festivities. And Codzy claimed $10 thousand which will undoubtedly go towards buying an exorbitantly priced Bug-A-Boo pram for the baby he and his wife are expecting.

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