History will be made at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday when the Hobart Hurricanes face the Adelaide Strikers in the #BBLFinal.
Neither the Hurricanes nor Strikers have won a BBL title before, and with both sides boasting a raft of genuine stars and matchwinners, cricketing fans around the world will be in for a treat when the two sides lock horns in the biggest match of the season.
How they got there
The Hurricanes have had quite the streaky tournament, dropping their opening two matches to the Renegades and Thunder before embarking on a sensational five-game winning streak to start 2018.
This streak rocketed the Hurricanes into the BBL top four, and proved to be enough for the Canes to qualify for finals, even with three losses to finish the tournament.
A stunning reversal in form was put on display on Thursday night, however, with the Hurricanes delivering arguably the finest team performance of BBL|07 to dismantle the Perth Scorchers by 71 runs at Optus Stadium, and book a place in the Big Final.
WATCH: Hurricanes book spot in BBL Final
The Strikers, alongside the now vanquished Perth Scorchers, have been the pace-setters of BBL|07, finishing the regular season with a win-loss record of 7-3.
Winning their first three matches, the Strikers hit the ground running before falling to the Hurricanes by seven runs at Blundstone Arena. The Strikers went on to drop just two games for the rest of the tournament – with both losses at the hands of the reigning champions and ladder-leading Perth Scorchers.
The Strikers then secured a place in the Big Final, and hosting rights with a win in the closest BBL final of all time, defeating the Melbourne Renegades by just one run at the Adelaide Oval.
Adelaide Strikers: 5
Hobart Hurricanes: 3
No Result: 1
The Strikers hold the advantage in the overall head-to-head record against the Hurricanes, winning five of the nine clashes between the two sides.
Both sides boast an average score of over in matches against each other, with former Hurricane and current Striker Jono Wells the batter with the most runs in clashes between the sides (200), closely followed by D’Arcy Short (188).
Dan Christian has the best bowling figures in matches between the sides, with his stunning effort of 5-14 at Blundstone Arena in BBL|06.
The Hurricanes and Strikers have already met twice in BBL|07, with D’Arcy Short’s stunning 96 and Jofra Archer’s clutch 3-15 securing the Hurricanes a seven-wicket win the first time around. In the return match at the Adelaide Oval, Alex Carey struck a rapid century to steer the Strikers to a tense 11-run win.
The Hurricanes first qualified for the BBL finals in the inaugural edition of the competition, finishing second before going down to the Sydney Sixers in the semi.
Tasmania’s Team have made the finals just once since, finishing fourth in BBL03 before stunning the Melbourne Stars in the semi to book a place in the final against the Perth Scorchers, eventually finishing runners up.
The Adelaide Strikers have made the finals twice before, finishing on top of the table in both BBL04 and BBL05, but will be playing in their first Big Final this season.
The Hurricanes have received a significant boost for the final, with D’Arcy Short released from the Australian T20 international squad, with Nathan Reardon making way. The Strikers have also received a timely boost, with Alex Carey and Travis Head also being made available after initial Australian selection.
Afghan star leg-spinner Rashid Khan is a significant out, however, due to requirements with the Afghanistan national team, with Nick Winter taking his place, while Harry Nielsen has made way for Carey.
Travis Head (c), Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Jono Dean, Colin Ingram, Ben Laughlin, Jake Lehmann, Michael Neser, Liam O’Connor, Peter Siddle, Jake Weatherald, Jon Wells, Nick Winter
In: Alex Carey, Nick Winter
Out: Rashid Khan, Harry Nielsen
George Bailey (C), Jofra Archer, Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Alex Doolan, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, Tim Paine, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose, D'Arcy Short, Matthew Wade
In: D’Arcy Short
Out: Nathan Reardon
Run scoring has become a habit of the Hurricanes, with the stunning 4/210 effort in the semi-final the equal third-highest total in BBL history, with the Hurricanes now holding five of the eight highest scores in BBL history.
The Strikers have a strong Hurricanes flavor, with Ben Laughlin and Jono Wells both moving to the Strikers after successful stints in purple.
Alex Carey (Strikers)
The second-highest run scorer for BBL|07 with 425, Carey will be a significant boost for the Strikers after playing a part in Australia’s ODI campaign against England. Carey was influential in the Strikers’ last win over the Hurricanes, powering a dynamic century, and will be a key wicket for the Hurricanes.
D’Arcy Short (Hurricanes)
The man of the summer. Short has struck 504 runs from his 10 innings in BBL|07, and despite the impressive Hurricanes innings in the semi-final, Short’s return will be a significant boost for the Hurricanes.
WATCH: Short sizzles in record-breaking knock
Players to watch:
Travis Head (Strikers)
Head has hit 330 runs in BBL|07, placing him fifth for the tournament. With more than handy skills with the ball, the Strikers’ captain is the all-round package, and will play a key role for the hosts.
Jofra Archer (Hurricanes)
One of the stars of BBL|07, Archer has taken Australia by storm with 15 wickets with an economy rate of just 7.62. Capable of bowling well at crucial moments with genuine pace, Archer will be looking to finish his campaign on the best possible note ahead of his next two years as a Hurricane.
WATCH: Archer magic dimisses Cutting
Ben Laughlin (Strikers)
The leading wicket-taker in BBL history, and former Hurricane, has had another impressive campaign with 11 wickets at an average of 20 and economy rate of 8. Bowled the final over under immense pressure to steer the Strikers into the final.
Ben McDermott (Hurricanes)
Fresh off the back of a swashbuckling half century in the semi-final, McDermott is primed for another big performance on the biggest stage. With the ability to play patiently and to clear the rope with ease, McDermott is a crucial cog in this Hurricanes batting order.
WATCH: McDermott's monstrous 50
Two extremely talented sides, and worthy finalists, vying for a maiden BBL title. It will all be on the line this Sunday in a clash that promises to be a classic. You simply cannot miss this.
Adelaide Strikers vs Hobart Hurricanes – 4.15pm AEDT, Sunday February 4, Adelaide Oval
JOIN US TO WATCH THE BIG GAME IN HOBART!
What: Official Hurricanes BBL Final Watch Party
When: THIS Sunday Afternoon 4 February 2018
Where: Wrest Point Hobart - Lawns / Onyx Bar
410 Sandy Bay Road, Hobart
Plenty of on-site parking available
FREE Family Friendly Event - Wrest Point Lawns
3:30pm Watch Party Event Starts
4:15pm BBL Final Telecast Begins
4:30pm BBL Final Commences - Hobart Hurricanes vs Adelaide Strikers OR Melbourne Renegades
8:00pm Watch Party Event Concludes
Catch ALL the cricket action on the outdoor mega screen!
Hosted by the Triple M Hobart 6-9am Weekdays Breakfast Team of Dave Noonan & Al Plath.