The ‘Canes were thrown a curve ball right from the off in Adelaide, as they lost English internationals Harry Brook and Jordan Thompson pre-game, out of an abundance of caution due to their time spent with a now-positive COVID-19 case.
Already missing Nathan Ellis due to a side-strain, this meant that Caleb Jewell, Mitch Owen and Wil Parker were thrust into the starting XI, as Adelaide won the toss and elected to bowl first on a rainy night in South Australia.
The Strikers got off to the perfect start – Matthew Wade chopped on off Harry Conway in the second over, before Ben McDermott was caught off Peter Siddle to leave the ‘Canes in an early hole at 2-13.
The new partnership of D’Arcy Short and Peter Handscomb went about repairing the damage, playing safely, but surely, until a calamitous mix-up led to a runout that broke the partnership, and momentum. Handscomb departed for 14 off 13 balls, before Rashid Khan caught and bowled Caleb Jewell for 2 to leave Hobart 4-53 through nine overs.
Short, who was progressing steadily, was joined by Tim David, who wasted no time shifting gears, blasting a six off just his second ball. Assuming the aggressors role, David reached the boundary twice more through the off-side, and for a moment it seemed the Hurricanes had averted the disaster.
Unfortunately, as the weather began to turn for the worse, so did the tide for the ‘Canes. Short was bowled by namesake Matt Short for a run-a-ball 32, before David was clean bowled by Siddle on 28 to leave the ‘Canes 6-96.
Mitch Owen and X-Factor player, Mac Wright – activated for Wil Parker - were the new pair at the crease, and immediately had to deal with the wily Khan. The mystery spinner got the better of Wright, but Mitch Owen found some joy, flashing a handful of balls to the boundary before he was bowled by Siddle.
Siddle was to repeat the method of dismissal twice more to remove Meredith and Lamichhane, completing his 5fa and leaving the Hurricanes all out for 126.
Defending a lean total, the ‘Canes needed to be tight right from the off, but the Strikers were in no mood to allow an opening. Henry Hunt and Matt Short came out strong, smashing 38 runs off the first four overs without losing a wicket.
The Hurricanes desperately needed a breakthrough, and finally got one when Lamichhane had Hunt caught by Short in the deep in the first over after the powerplay, and the Strikers were now 1-38. However, this was to be the last highlight for quite some time for the purple army.
Matt Renshaw and Matt Short, under minimal run-rate pressure, played confidently. Renshaw, content to play the supporting role, allowed Short to take control, who played a variety of excellent shots to bring up his 50 while Adelaide brought up their 100.
Lamichhane finally struck again – removing Renshaw with the total at 2-106 – but the Strikers comfortably navigated the remainder of the total, finishing 3-129 to win by seven wickets with a little under five overs to spare.
Short was the hero, finishing unbeaten on 72, while Hobart were left to rue early wickets and inconsistency with the ball as Adelaide ran out comfortable and deserving winners.
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