Well, here we are, Canes fans. With our season on a knife-edge, our Hobart Hurricanes take to Etihad Stadium tonight for a penultimate showdown with our bogey team of old, the Melbourne Renegades. With two new additions to our squad in Jake Reed and Sam Rainbird, the Canes are throwing the gauntlet down to our old rivals on their home patch and will look to break an unwanted streak of four consecutive losses to the men in red. However, with the ‘Gades sitting just above us in 6th place, both sides desperately need a win. The equation is simple - victory for either side gives them another life in the race for finals glory whereas a loss will spell the end of any championship hopes. It’s a high-stakes match and with an anticipated sell-out crowd backing the Renegades, the Hurricanes will have to be at their very best to claim victory and keep their season alive.
Average Batting Innings – 139.4
Average RR – 6.97
Average Wickets taken in innings – 6.2
It’s true; the Renegades have been our kryptonite for four consecutive seasons. Ever since our heart-stopping seven-wicket victory in BBL|01 where Owais Shah saw us home with only 1 ball to spare, the Sea of Red has put us to the sword off the back of their superior wicket-taking ability. In five BBL fixtures, the Renegades have snared 37 wickets against the Hurricanes which, when compared to the Hurricanes return of 27 wickets, highlights the potency of the Renegades bowling attack. More importantly, the Hurricanes will need to mitigate the Renegades ability to claim early wickets. Statistics show that the Hurricanes have lost their first wicket within 5 overs in every single fixture between these two sides, so captain Tim Paine and boom rookie D’Arcy Short will have to be on their A-game against a hungry Renegades outfit.
Hobart Hurricanes vs Melbourne Renegades
Wins – 1
Losses – 4
Best Batting v Renegades – Jon Wells - 72 off 61 (Jan 18, 2012 at Blundstone Arena)
Best Bowling v Renegades – Ben Laughlin – 3-16 (Jan 1, 2014 at Blundstone Arena)
Player to watch – Tim Paine
With the Hurricanes’ season on the line, skipper Tim Paine will have to be at his absolute best against the Renegades both with the bat and behind the stumps. Painey was unstoppable in the first two rounds of BBL|06, smashing 63 and 91 respectively, and averages 37.2 with the bat this season but must turn around a poor record against the ‘Gades to anchor his side tonight. Paine’s superior glove-work may also prove the difference and with seven dismissals already this season, the stag is set for a vintage Paine Train performance at Etihad Stadium.
Melbourne Renegades vs Hobart Hurricanes
Wins – 4
Losses - 1
Best Batting v Hurricanes – Ben Stokes – 77 off 42 (Jan 7, 2015 at Blundstone Arena)
Best Bowling v Hurricanes – James Pattinson – 4-24 (Jan 1, 2014 at Blundstone Arena)
Player to watch – Aaron Finch
The Renegades skipper and Australian opener is a truly a force to be reckoned with. Finch blasted his second BBL|06 half-century – an assured 57 off 44 deliveries – against the Sixers on Monday night and is averaging 40.2 with the bat this season. The burly right-hander has taken a liking to the Hurricanes in the past, averaging 45.3 in five fixtures thus far, and will be integral to the Renegades hopes tonight.
Next up, the Hurricanes return to Blundstone Arena to host the Perth Scorchers as part of our WBBL/BBL double-header clash on Saturday January 21. The WBBL Canes kickstart proceedings against the Melbourne Stars at 11:45am in their final regular season fixture before the BBL Canes do battle at 4:20pm. Tickets available here at http://www.hobarthurricanes.com.au/tickets.