The BBL heads down to Tasmania for tomorrows BBL & WBBL double-header between these two sides for the first time ever. Hobart is always a happy hunting ground for attacking batsmen, so we should see no shortage of sixes in this clash!
Looking back on their first & only game so far in BBL 07, the Hobart Hurricanes catastrophic downfall with the ball had the last say as the Melbourne Renegades cruised to a simple victory thanks to a dominant-top order contribution. We’ll dissect their bowling performance a bit later in the piece, but for now we’ll look back on Hobart’s start with the bat. A new combination at the top of the order featuring Alex Doolan and D’Arcy Short got the home side off to a cracking start with a 53-run partnership for the opening stand. Doolan was looking as solid as a rock and finding the boundary in the process, while Short was showcasing his striking ability with a quick-fire 34 as he targeted the small boundaries on either side. The Thunder regularly use three spinners in their side, so it will be interesting to see how the two openers approach the start of their innings, attacking when the ball is skidding on early is a risky proposition. Hurricanes skipper George Bailey is the focal point in the line-up though, a batsman that can flick the switch and go berserk when he’s had some time to suss out what the wicket is doing, Bailey remains the key to his teams success. It’s not because he’s an experienced campaigner either, he can seriously strike a ball with brute force over the fence and this ground is probably the smallest in the competition making him a danger man. We’ve already seen what 23-year-old Ben McDermott is capable of when he’s in the zone, and Dan Christian is another genuine six-hitter who’s role in the team is to finish the innings with a bang in the middle-lower order.
We turn to Hobart’s shaky-performance with the ball last week, they were really exposed for lack of consistency and execution which probably loses you the game nine times out of ten. A bold but successful tactic to operate with spinner Clive Rose in the opening over paid off as Aaron Finch was caught wanting when he skied a ball straight up in the air and was dismissed for just four runs. After that, it was a highly-dominant batting performance from the Renegades who used the short boundaries to their advantage and had no problems whatsoever chasing the runs required. West Indian young gun Jofra Archer was the only Hurricanes bowler to show any promise when given his opportunity, finishing with an economical 2/17 which included a maiden over. The Hurricanes big signing Tymal Mills has no impact despite bowling with extreme pace, it was just one of those matches where nothing went to plan. If that wasn’t bad enough, Aaron Summers, Dan Christian, Clive Rose, D’Arcy Short and Cameron Boyce all ended up conceding ten-plus runs an over in what was a forgettable game for those guys. Improvement is needed across the board in tomorrows match against the Thunder.
The Thunders dependency on captain Shane Watson is getting a bit out of hand, and if he doesn’t get help soon he may be forced to clone himself. It may sound a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at this point in time the Sydney Thunder aren’t looking much of a threat with what they’ve tossed up in this years competition so far, apart from Shane Watson’s hefty-hitting at No. 3. Fortunately for the Thunder, help has come at the right time with classy South Australian veteran Callum Ferguson just recently making his debut for the side against the Heat up in Brisbane. Ferguson’s 37 off 26 deliveries in the middle order really did form a base for Sydney with Watson trying to lift the run rate up the other end while the 33-year-old made the most of his time out in the middle. Apart from Watson who currently leads this years BBL leading run scorers, the contributions have varied from the rest of the line-up. Opener Kurtis Patterson has probably been the Thunder’s second best batsman, but even he hasn’t scored over fifty runs in a match which really puts things in perspective for this side. Ryan Gibson and Ben Rohrer have particularly struggled to compile an innings, while Arjun Nair has been required to fire some shots down the order as the bowling all-rounder. Hopefully with the inclusion of Callum Ferguson, the Thunder can spread to workload throughout the order a bit more evenly tomorrow.
Ben Rohrer copped a nasty blow to the collarbone at the non-strikers end up at the Gabba a couple days ago in a freak incident, but he should be available to play against the Hurricanes with an outside chance of missing the match. They may have only won one out of their three games, but the positive thing so far in BBL 07 for the Thunder has been their improvement in the bowling department. They struggled to take wickets in their previous campaign, but in 2017-18 they’ve been a success story with the likes of Fawad Ahmed, Arjun Nair and new recruit Mitchell McClenaghan taking wickets regularly. It’s a balancing act for the Sydney Thunder, if they’re going well with the ball, they’re usually struggling with the bat vice versa. 19-year-old off-spinner Arjun Nair has added some life into this bowling attack with his ability to force the batsman to take him on which really has been his deceptive tactic to take wickets, he’s picked up six wickets in three games already. Looking like he belongs on the big stage, Nair has been assisted by leg-spinning companion Fawad Ahmed who has been quite economical all tournament apart from their recent game up at the Gabba. Perhaps the most impressive of the three is Mitchell McClenaghan, a tantalizing figure for opposition batsmen and built like a tank. McClenaghan has picked up multiple-wickets in all three BBL matches this year, down in Hobart should be no different.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Hobart Hurricanes | BBL | 11th match | Hobart
- George Bailey
- Alex Doolan
- Jofra Archer
- Cameron Boyce
- Dan Christian
Wildcard pick – D’Arcy Short
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sydney Thunder | BBL | 11th match | Hobart
- Shane Watson
- Jos Buttler
- Mitchell McClenaghan
- Callum Ferguson
- Arjun Nair
Wildcard pick – Chris Green
Hobart Hurricanes (possible) – 1. Alex Doolan 2. D’Arcy Short 3. Ben McDermott 4. George Bailey (c) 5. Matthew Wade (wk) 6. Dan Christian 7. Jofra Archer 8. Simon Milenko/Tom Rogers 9. Cameron Boyce 10. Clive Rose 11. Tymal Mills.
Sydney Thunder (possible) – 1. Jos Buttler (wk) 2. Kurtis Patterson 3. Shane Watson (c) 4. Callum Ferguson 5. Ben Rohrer/Aiden Blizzard 6. Ryan Gibson 7. Arjun Nair 8. Chris Green 9. Mitchell McClenaghan 10. Gurinder Sandhu/Andrew Fekete 11. Fawad Ahmed.