Did we just see the greatest catch in the history of cricket?

The Adelaide Strikers combined for one of the most spectacular catches in cricket history on a night the Melbourne Renegades' hopes of making the Big Bash League finals took a hit.

Chasing 174 for victory at Etihad Stadum, the Renegades fell 26 runs short but it was a stunning catch by Jake Weatherald to dismiss West Indian Dwayne Bravo which had the 23,089 fans on hand in awe and dominated social media.

Bravo had blasted leg-spinner Rashid Khan over cover, where Ben Laughlin, dashing towards the boundary, completed the catch - only to realise he was about to step over the rope, meaning Bravo would have been not out. Showing amazing poise, and off only two steps as he dived over the rope, Laughlin whipped the ball backwards to a teammate about 30 metres away - that being Weatherald, who had run to help out.

Weatherald said during the Channel Ten commentary that his instincts had kicked in.

"I just ran at him because I thought he caught the catch but he made it a bit harder for himself for taking a few more steps," he said.

Added Laughlin: "I thought it was going for six there. Panic stations."

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said it was one of the most "extraordinary" pieces of fielding he had seen, while former Australian fast bowler Damien Fleming said it was the best catch he had witnessed.

It was a terrific piece of teamwork, and highlighted the Strikers' dominance. Just when many Renegades supporters had been thinking about the finals, those hopes remain alive but have narrowed. The defeat means the Renegades will need to win at least one of their final two matches - against the Sydney Thunder in Canberra on Wednesday and the Heat in Brisbane on Saturday - to secure their first finals berth in five years.

The Thunder and Heat are also jostling for a top-four berth, with the Perth Scorchers and Strikers guaranteed of a top-two finish and a home final. The Hobart Hurricanes are likely to lock up third spot.

The Renegades' top-order told the tale - Marcus Harris (25 off 31 balls), Tim Ludeman (14 off 11) and skipper Cameron White (17 off 23), the latter given permission by Cricket Australia to leave the one-day international squad - all making a start but unable to turn the contest. By contrast, the Strikers had their imposing 5-173 bankrolled by an 88-run stand from skipper Travis Head (58 off 47) and South African Colin Ingram (68 off 36).

White's superb form earlier in the season - he is the competition's fourth-leading run-scorer - had contributed to his international comeback but on this night he was unable to find the boundary.

West Indian Kieron Pollard, drafted into the squad to replace Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, was elevated in the order to provide some power hitting.

But he contributed little, falling to Laughlin, who won't forget this game in a hurry.

Earlier, the Strikers lost Weatherald in the third over, a searing yorker from Chris Tremain unsettling his middle stump. This prompted Alex Carey (32 off 24 balls) and Head - also given permission by CA to leave the ODI squad - to adopt a more cautious manner, with the pair taking the visitors to 62 after 10 overs.

That's not to say the highlights were minimal, for Head cracked Tremain over mid-wicket for six and two balls later followed up with a punch through gully for four.

Carey smacked Kane Richardson down the ground on successive deliveries and became the second man to 400 runs this summer. But he was unable to deliver the big knock he had wanted, his stay ending when he drove at paceman Jake Wildermuth and was caught by Marcus Harris in a sweeping cover role.

Head, the Strikers skipper, and Ingram then got together and got busy. They ensured veteran spinner Brad Hogg was unable to find a consistent length. The charismatic Hogg battled through his opening two overs before having 18 off his third, with the two boundaries and a thumping six all coming on the on-side. The former Australian World Cup winner was not seen again.

Head rediscovered his good form in the Twenty20 format, having had a double failure in the Australian one-day team which led to his axing from Sunday's third match at the SCG.

Head reached his half-century off 39 balls, including four boundaries and a pair of sixes. He and Ingram lifted the run-rate and threatened fireworks before Head chopped on a Pollard slower ball.

Ingram is known for his unorthodox batting but on this night embraced a more conventional Twenty20 style. He provided the shot of the match when balanced in his crease, and adopting a short back lift, he flicked a Kane Richardson delivery for six over mid wicket.

While Pollard had reason to celebrate Head's downfall, Ingram finished the over with a pair of sixes.

Bravo was given the responsibility of the final over and snapped up Ingram and Jake Lehmann on his final two deliveries - both caught on juggling attempts. The first, by White at point, raised a brief fear the Renegade had his shoulder when diving to the turf but he quickly shrugged off any concerns.

This story Did we just see the greatest catch in the history of cricket? first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.