As we head towards the back end of the competition, both the Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes are well positioned ahead of the BBL finals race. Fast forward to match 31 at the Adelaide Oval, this could potentially seal a top-two finish for one of these sides.
The loss of their skipper Travis Head immediately made an impact when the Strikers traveled up to Alice Springs to take on the inform-Perth Scorchers. A talented young man who has made that position his own in the past couple of seasons with Adelaide, stand-in captain Colin Ingram decided to fill the shoes of Head at No. 3 which didn’t quite go to plan in the end. In BBL’s gone by, we’ve previously seen the big-hitting Jono Dean elevated to first drop which begs the question why the Strikers didn’t go down that path instead of throwing your most experienced batsman in the deep end early.
In this next match against the Hurricanes, there’s no doubt the Strikers will be targeted in their innings, particularly Alex Carey and Colin Ingram who have carried most of the load in BBL 07. Ingram has gradually worked himself into the tournament with some big scores against the Hurricanes and Thunder, but it’s been Alex Carey who has been the standout batsman this season for the Strikers. The 26-year-old local has scored 268 runs at 53.6 with the willow in the tournament and looks like the Strikers biggest danger man in their line-up. His opening partner Jake Weatherald on the other hand, has struggled immensely at the top of the order averaging just 12.42, shocking given how dominant he’s been for the Redbacks in one-day & first-class cricket. If the Strikers are to go deep into this seasons BBL, their middle order will have to start contributing a lot more runs as well.
With some minor-concerns in the batting line-up, the Strikers have no such thing when it comes to their formidable bowling attack. Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan has headlined a potent cartel of high quality seam bowlers who deserve a lot of the credit for the amount of wins the Adelaide Strikers have racked up in the tournament. Both big-Billy Stanlake and Peter Siddle have been hard to get away at times pinning the opposition to the crease, and Michael Neser and Ben Laughlin have been regulars in the wickets department, albeit a little expensive at times they’ve got the job done. With the fast bowling cartel working over time at one end, you just can’t go past the leg-spin of Rashid Khan at the other. At just 19-years of age, this teenager is troubling some of the best of what Australia’s got to offer which has been nothing but a pleasure to watch from a spectators point of view. Along with his deceiving variations which pretty much wastes four overs of the oppositions innings, Khan has picked up 12 wickets in the process & is yet to be trumped by another team in the BBL.
Breaking a club record for most games won consecutively, the Hobart Hurricanes are on the up and are now potentially looking at a top three finish if all goes to plan. The signing of West Indian young gun Jofra Archer and the prolific form D’Arcy Short finds himself in, the Hurricanes are becoming a force to be reckoned as they travel up to Adelaide for another blockbuster under lights. I guess the question has to be asked, what’s in the water down in Hobart? honestly, this is easily the most dominant display of batting from D’Arcy Short since Don Bradman was working over the Poms back in the 1930’s & 40’s. All jokes aside, Short has been a nightmare to dismiss early, his past five innings in the BBL consist of 97, 96, 42, 122* & 59 just recently against the Heat, this man is currently in a purple patch which follows him from state-to-state.
This is arguably the most anticipated match up on this seasons BBL calendar, a rampaging-Short up against a potent Adelaide Strikers bowling attack who have just about dominated every opponent they’ve come up against. Traditionally, the Adelaide Oval is usually a superb surface for batting which could see Short produce another big one in the city of churches. With so much of the attention directed at Short, the likes of Ben McDermott, Matthew Wade and even George Bailey have flown under the radar in the tournament. Even Dan Christian could be an element of surprise for the Strikers, the veteran struck a quick-fire 23 against the Heat just recently, consisting of three sixes.
You’d give the Hurricanes every chance of defeating the Adelaide Strikers at home with a jam-packed batting order, but they might fall short (no pun intended) when it comes to restricting the Strikers in the field. If you’ve followed Hobart closely in this seasons BBL, it’s blatantly-obvious that they don’t have enough individuals who can take two or more wickets a game like the Strikers. For example, spinner Clive Rose is good for an early breakthrough in the opening overs, but he’s only picked up two wickets in a game once in BBL 07. He can also be on the receiving end of some hefty onslaughts, the same can be said about leg-spinner Cameron Boyce who has picked up two wickets in a game twice, but at the same time has been held wicketless four times. Jofra Archer is about the Hurricanes only bowler who could potentially pick up three-four wickets in a game, he produces some serious pace & bounce which has caught batsmen by surprise this tournament. Tymal Mills has been hugely relied upon, but tragically unperformed in his second stint with a BBL team, the batsmen have used his pace to their advantage which has seen Mills become a casualty more than an asset.
Top 4 fantasy picks | Adelaide Strikers | BBL | 31st match | Adelaide
- Rashid Khan
- Alex Carey
- Colin Ingram
- Michael Neser
Wildcard pick – Jake Weatherald
Top 4 fantasy picks | Hobart Hurricanes | BBL | 31st match | Adelaide
- George Bailey
- Jofra Archer
- D’Arcy Short
- Ben McDermott
Wildcard pick – Matthew Wade
Adelaide Strikers (possible) – 1. Alex Carey (wk) 2. Jake Weatherald 3. Colin Ingram (c) 4. Jono Wells 5. Jono Dean 6. Jake Lehmann/Kelvin Smith 7. Michael Neser 8. Rashid Khan 9. Peter Siddle 10. Ben Laughlin 11. Billy Stanlake.
Hobart Hurricanes (possible) – 1. Alex Doolan 2. D’Arcy Short 3. Matthew Wade (wk) 4. George Bailey (c) 5. Ben McDermott 6. Dan Christian 7. Simon Milenko/Nathan Reardon 8. Jofra Archer 9. Cameron Boyce 10. Clive Rose 11. Tymal Mills.