Both these sides are undefeated in BBL08, but that’s all about to change tomorrow night in Hobart where the Hurricanes and Thunder will do battle in an attempt to lengthen one another’s winning streaks. The Thunder have been the surprise package of the tournament so far, they’ve spent a couple seasons in the wilderness since winning the title back in 2015-16 and look as if they’re making another run for the competition silverware again.
Back-to-back wins for the Hobart Hurricanes has put them in a commanding position in the early stages of BBL08, but they can’t afford to take their foot off the accelerator just yet. Despite being one of three undefeated teams in the tournament, Hobart will be well aware of the topsy-turvy competition where teams from the bottom can often rise above the rest when complacency kicks in. It was a satisfying victory in their last match against the Melbourne Stars on home soil down in Tasmania, Jofra Archer led the way with the ball with figures of 3/25 and skipper Matthew Wade’s half century helped guide the Hurricanes to the finish line. Hobart’s batting line-up is one of the best in the competition, and it certainly showed against the Stars with the prolific ball-striking of D’Arcy Short making light work of Dwayne Bravo and skipper Matthew Wade providing an anchor role at the top as well. Those two will be a formidable-duo at the top of the order in BBL08, but it’s their depth that really gives them something to fall back on if things happen to get out of hand.
The hard-hitting Ben McDermott and former Hurricanes & Australian skipper George Bailey feature prevalently in the middle order. Bailey has already produced two quick-fire knocks in the tournament against the Heat and Stars (22 off 12 & 27 off 18) which should give them a lot of confidence when the 36-year-old strides to the crease. West Indian-born Englishman Jofra Archer has already signalled his intentions this season with 5 wickets in two BBL outings, he brings a lot of energy to this Hurricanes bowling attack and will play another vital role for them in BBL08. Former Melbourne Star James Faulkner will also be heavily-relied upon to take wickets for his new team, 3 wickets against the Heat in his debut for Hobart suggests he’s more than capable of doing just that. Along with a lengthy batting order, the Hurricanes have plenty of bowling options at their disposal including the handy part-time leg-spin of D’Arcy Short who picked up two wickets against the Stars.
Prepare for a thunderstorm, because the Sydney Thunder are back in town! You never quite know what you’re going to get with this side, most of the time it’s an underwhelming outcome after plenty of positive hype leading up to the BBL. That one campaign in particular where the Thunder managed to win the title in 2015-16 gives all Thunder supporters & followers hope though, proving that they’re more than capable of getting the best out of themselves. Victories against the Stars and Sixers to start their campaign has really given them some belief as they look to carry that winning form into Hobart tomorrow. Sydney are facing a side who’re also at the peak of their powers at the moment, not one-single loss between these two teams makes this matchup an extremely fascinating one.
The tremendously-damaging Jos Buttler has been instrumental early in the comp, particularly against the Sixers at Spotless Stadium where the Englishman’s innings took flight in a dominant display of hitting as he reached 63 in no time. The same can’t be said about Pommy-teammate Joe Root who despite being a world-class batsman, is averaging just 13.50 in the lime green. Teenager Jason Sangha was impressive with the bat in the Thunder’s first game, but it’s been the all-round capabilities of former Sixers player Daniel Sams which has really given them that dynamic-edge in BBL08. He’s been a revelation for the Thunder so far, picking up 6 wickets in two games and providing some power-hitting down the order with scores of 34 & 28. Daniel Sams will be a name to keep an eye on in BBL08, so to will be leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed who rattled the Sixers in the Thunder’s last match. Whether the Sixers just couldn’t read the sliding leggy’s Fawad produced or just intent on rotating the strike, whatever the case may be they came off second best in the end. With Shane Watson and Joe Root yet to fire with the bat and a potent bowling attack, it’s exciting times ahead for the Thunder.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Hobart Hurricanes | BBL | 11th match | Hobart
- Jofra Archer
- D’Arcy Short
- Ben McDermott
- Riley Meredith
- George Bailey
Wildcard pick – Simon Milenko
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sydney Thunder | BBL | 11th match | Hobart
- Jos Buttler
- Daniel Sams
- Joe Root
- Fawad Ahmed
- Shane Watson
Wildcard pick – Jason Sangha
Hobart Hurricanes (possible) – 1. Matthew Wade (c & wk) 2. D’Arcy Short 3. Alex Doolan 4. Ben McDermott 5. George Bailey 6. Simon Milenko 7. James Faulkner 8. Johan Botha 9. Jofra Archer 10. Clive Rose 11. Riley Meredith.
Sydney Thunder (possible) – 1. Jos Buttler (wk) 2. Shane Watson © 3. Callum Ferguson 4. Joe Root 5. Jason Sangha 6. Daniel Sams 7. Chris Green 8. Nathan McAndrew/Gurinder Sandhu 9. Jono Cook 10. Sam Rainbird 11. Fawad Ahmed.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.