The Hobart Hurricanes will host the undefeated-Adelaide Strikers in arguably their most challenging match of the tournament so far. The Strikers have had all the answers, whilst the Hurricanes were able to register their first win of BBL 07 in a nail-biter against the Thunder just recently.
Never really in the championship window, the Hobart Hurricanes are out to prove the jury wrong after an inspired-victory against the Thunder away from home on Monday lifted them off the bottom of the standings. Surprise packet D’Arcy Short sent the Thunders bowling attack into overdrive as he laid a solid foundation which only benefited his crisp-striking as the Hurricanes opener blasted his way to an impressive 97, oh so close to his maiden T20 century. The fact that Short is a hit-and-miss type of batsman really would have given him self-confidence that he is that prolific scorer that can assert his dominance at the top of the order, consistency remains the key issue of his game though. Hobart have found a real star in the making who goes by the name of Ben McDermott, ever since he burst onto the scene against the Renegades at Etihad Stadium last year with that star-studded century, he’s asserted himself in this purple outfit. McDermott struck an unbeaten-49 alongside Short against the Thunder, keeping their total just out of reach in the final over at Spotless Stadium. It’s hard to understand why the Hurricanes haven’t been a top ranked team in BBL 07, they have a damaging batting order that can find the boundary more often than not, they just lack that polish the upper-echelon have in the competition. Skipper George Bailey has made a slow start to his campaign, so this might be the game he breaks the shackles and shows his class against a red-hot Strikers outfit.
The Brisbane Heat were instrumental in restricting the Strikers top order in their New Years Eve clash at Adelaide Oval, they just couldn’t finish them off which ended up costing them the game. Dropped catches were the theme of the innings, so hopefully the Hurricanes can hold onto all of their opportunities. This has been by far Clive Rose’s best BBL campaign since debuting, he’s opened the bowling and taken pace off the ball and made an impact in almost every game so far, a genius move from Bailey and the Hurricanes. Speaking of genius moves, the decision to recruit West Indian all-rounder Jofra Archer has been everything they would have hoped for from the lively 22-year-old. Archer has claimed five wickets in his three games with a laid back approach to the crease, followed by deliveries zipping off the pitch at pace. We haven’t seen the best of Tymal Mills and Dan Christian with the ball yet either, the last time these two sides met in Hobart, Christian ran through the Strikers line-up with a five-wicket haul – what are the chances of that happening again? But it’s Mills who really needs to step up against an inform side such as Adelaide, he’s got the pace but does he have the execution? the answer so far has been a solid “no”.
After what looked to be a golden opportunity batting first washed down the drain, the Adelaide Strikers produced a highly-dominant and classy bowling performance to skittle the dangerous-Brisbane Heat out for a total of just 91. The chances of getting Brendon McCullum, Chris Lynn, Joe Burns and Alex Ross all out for considerably low scores would have been slim and one, but they defied those odds and conquered a team that was caught out for one of the very first times since Baz McCullum’s arrival at the club. While the Strikers top order struggled to go on with their innings, the fact that they won puts any doubts to rest and sees them focus on this next match down in Hobart. Fond memories down in Hobart, far from it from an Adelaide Strikers perspective, and there’s no doubting that when Dan Christian comes on to bowl it will be in the back of everyone’s minds. With a fresh, new-looking & energetic top order looking to score quickly, coach Jason Gillespie certainly has them heading on the right path. Wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey has been a key contributor in Adelaide’s first two games, scoring 44 & 83* with a positive intent to find the fence, and skipper Travis Head remains the most damaging batsman in the side with his maturity that is still mixed with that aggression we love about his game, hopefully he can entertain us once more! Overseas signing Colin Ingram is yet to find form on these Australian wickets, having trouble playing the big shots without taking any major risks which has been his downfall so far.
If we were grading the Adelaide Strikers bowling attack this early in the tournament, they’d receive a solid A for what they’ve been able to achieve overall. Afghani wizkid Rashid Khan and the ever-consistent Ben Laughin would receive an A+ alone, they have been simply superb with wickets falling regularly when the ball is in these two guys hands. They could almost be seen as the dynamic-duo, the pair have combined for 15 wickets in three games which is something the Hurricanes will have to be wary of. It’s tough to decide whether to take them on head first or go down the more cautious path, either way batsmen are going to be caught out if they’re indecisive like a couple teams have already shown against the Strikers. If that’s not already bad enough, you’ve got Peter Siddle strangling you for runs up one end as well along with two more quality seamers in Stanlake and Neser chipping away at you, this is what make the Adelaide Strikers one of the more threatening & combative teams to come up against in BBL 07. Travis Head’s part-time off-spin has also picked up two wickets in the tournament so far, another good indication of the variation in their attack.
Top 4 fantasy picks | Hobart Hurricanes | BBL | 17th match | Hobart
- Ben McDermott
- Jofra Archer
- George Bailey
- Dan Christian
Wildcard pick – Tymal Mills
Top 4 fantasy picks | Adelaide Strikers | BBL | 17th match | Hobart
- Rashid Khan
- Alex Carey
- Travis Head
- Ben Laughlin
Wildcard pick – Jono Wells
Hobart Hurricanes (possible) – 1. Alex Doolan 2. D’Arcy Short 3. Matthew Wade (wk) 4. Ben McDermott 5. George Bailey (c) 6. Dan Christian 7. Simon Milenko/Nathan Reardon 8. Jofra Archer 9. Cameron Boyce 10. Clive Rose 11. Tymal Mills.
Adelaide Strikers (possible) – 1. Alex Carey (wk) 2. Jake Weatherald 3. Travis Head (c) 4. Colin Ingram 5. Jono Wells 6. Jake Lehmann 7. Michael Neser 8. Rashid Khan 9. Peter Siddle 10. Ben Laughlin 11. Billy Stanlake.