We are officially halfway through the regular BBL|06 season and after a topsy-turvy 2-2 start, the Hobart Hurricanes will be looking to reassert themselves as championship contenders with their second consecutive win over the Adelaide Strikers tonight. The Canes romped to a comfortable 8-wicket victory earlier this week thanks to a brilliant 5-14 from Dan Christian, but the Strikers are a force to be reckoned with in their Adelaide Oval fortress. Both teams desperately need the win and Hurricanes HQ is back to crunch the numbers ahead of Friday’s season-defining showdown.
Average Batting Innings – 146.7
Average RR – 7.34
Average Wickets taken in innings – 5.2
The Hurricanes and the Strikers have fought out some memorable contests in recent memory, none more so than the Jake Lehmann-inspired last ball victory in BBL|05 that denied the Hurricanes a finals berth. This year, the Adelaide outfit is brimming with talented cricketers such as Brad Hodge, Ben Dunk and Kieron Pollard and crushed the Sixers last week, but mixed results outside of that has placed them near the bottom of the table. With everything to play for and a vocal home crowd behind them, the Strikers will be at their best against the ever-improving Hurricanes.
Hobart Hurricanes vs Adelaide Strikers
Wins – 2
Losses – 3
Classic Match v Strikers – Dec 28, 2011 (Adelaide Oval) – Hurricanes win by 14 runs
Best Batting v Strikers – D’Arcy Short – 60 off 39 (Jan 2, 2017 at Blundstone Arena)
Best Bowling v Strikers – Dan Christian – 5-14 (Jan 2, 2017 at Blundstone Arena)
Player to watch – Kumar Sangakkara
The Sri Lankan superstar may have struggled in his opening season of BBL cricket but an assured 25no last week against the Strikers might just be the start of something bigger. Sangakkara was in vintage form at Blundstone Arena, calmly steering the ball around the paddock and rotating the strike as well as blasting an enormous six off the bowling of Michael Neser. Adelaide Oval would bring fond memories for Sangakkara, having stroked a sublime 128 against India back in 2008 and we’re hoping for some more of the same!
Adelaide Strikers vs Hobart Hurricanes
Wins – 3
Losses - 2
Classic Match v Hurricanes – Jan 13, 2016 (Adelaide Oval) – Strikers win by 6 wickets
Best Batting v Hurricanes – Michael Klinger – 71 off 61 (Jan 5, 2013 at Blundstone Arena)
Best Bowling v Hurricanes – Cameron Boyce – 3-17 (Jan 5, 2013 at Blundstone Arena)
Player to watch – Billy Stanlake
Standing at an imposing 6ft 5, Strikers paceman Billy Stanlake is a hard man to miss and even harder to put away. The Queensland product has hit red-hot form in his past two outings, snaring 3-17 against the Sixers and backing up with 1-17 against the Hurricanes earlier this week. Armed with an array of bouncers and seamers in excess of 145kmph, Stanlake’s contributions with the ball will be pivotal for the Strikers chances on Friday night.
Next up, the Hurricanes fly home ahead of a massive BBL/WBBL double-header clash at Blundstone Arena on Sunday 8 January. The afternoon kicks off with the WBBL Hurricanes taking on Brisbane Heat at 1:45pm before the BBL Hurricanes shape up against last year’s premiers Sydney Thunder at 7:10pm.