Recent Match Report – Strikers vs Hurricanes 31st Match 2023/24

Adelaide Strikers 168 for 5 (M Short 45, Lynn 37, Ellis 2-44) beat Hobart Hurricanes 165 for 7 (McDermott 95*, Overton 3-23, Boyce 2-13) by five wickets

Alex Carey produced a calm innings under pressure in his season debut, as Adelaide Strikers continued their BBL finals push with a pivotal five-wicket victory over Hobart Hurricanes.

Chasing a modest 166 runs at the Adelaide Oval, Strikers were cruising at 103 for 1 in the 11th over before losing three quick wickets. Between his Test commitments, Carey was a vital inclusion and made 36 off 26 balls as Strikers won with four balls remaining to claim their second straight victory.

Opener Ben McDermott had rescued Hurricanes from a dire 36 for 5 with a brilliant 95 not out off 61 as he batted through the innings. But it was not enough on a ground renowned for its flat surface and short square boundaries.

Strikers leapfrogged Hurricanes into fifth spot as the BBL heads into the business end of the regular season. The result heightens the stakes ahead of the teams reprising their battle in Hobart on Thursday.

Strikers elected to bowl in a template similar to their domination over two-time defending champions Perth Scorchers in their last match.

It again went to plan as they tore through Hurricanes’ top order in ideal batting conditions. Strikers bowled with discipline and were also aided by recklessness from Hurricanes, who again lost early wickets in a continual bane for them this season.

Hurricanes’ rut started in the second over when opener Caleb Jewell fell to a loosener from left-arm quick David Payne’s first delivery. Macalister Wright followed in the fourth over off seamer Jamie Overton with Carey getting into the game as he clung onto a skier.

Overton was gifted another wicket two balls later when Sam Hain got in a horrible tangle attempting a ramp shot.

Hurricanes were then strangled by legspinner Cameron Boyce, who continued his strong form having stepped up after talisman Rashid Khan was ruled out with injury ahead of the season. Boyce’s success has been through deceiving batters by taking the pace off as he did against a flustered Corey Anderson.

The pressure was on Nikhil Chaudhary, who has thrived under adversity in an impressive debut BBL season. He had almost got his team over the line against Brisbane Heat with a maiden BBL half-century only for Hurricanes to fall one run short in their chase.

But Chaudhary was stumped down the leg side off a wide from Boyce after having overcommitted on the front foot. Carey’s confidence was justified when replays confirmed Chaudhary’s foot was not behind the line as he departed for the first diamond duck off a stumping in BBL history.

It was the latest letdown for Hurricanes in a major frustration for a team boasting an explosive batting order. And it meant Tim David, the team’s designated finisher, had to play himself in but he fell to Lloyd Pope before Hurricanes had taken the power surge.

Hurricanes fought back with McDermott holding the innings together. He received support from Chris Jordan, who rediscovered the big strokes he had unfurled in a 20-ball 59 against Scorchers earlier in the season.

They made their move in the power surge and smashed 25 runs in the 14th over before McDermott finished the innings in style as he successfully targeted the boundary down the ground.

He finished with a last-ball six, but Hurricanes’ total quickly looked inadequate when captain Matt Short tore into speedster Riley Meredith with two sixes in Strikers’ opening over.

Playing against his old side, D’Arcy Short continued his batting rejuvenation alongside his namesake as Strikers powered to 46 runs inside three overs. His dismissal on 18 did little to deter Strikers’ momentum with Chris Lynn smashing Meredith for a huge six over midwicket in a trademark muscular blow.

Hurricanes needed inspiration and David almost delivered when he flew spectacularly at cover, but he could not hang on to a tough chance when Lynn was on 15.

After his blistering hitting in the powerplay, Short was unable to hit boundaries with the same frequency and he spooned a catch back to spinner Patrick Dooley as the match unexpectedly turned.

Hurricanes rallied further when Lynn slapped Meredith straight to long-off with Strikers still needing 57 runs. Meredith, however, could not finish the over due to a side strain in what looms as an injury concern for Hurricanes.

Captain Nathan Ellis then bowled Adam Hose with a full delivery to set up a tense finish, but Carey stepped up to the challenge with composed strokes through his favoured off side.

He fell with six runs needed, but it was only a matter of time before Strikers picked up a vital victory.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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