The Hurricanes were keen to make up for handing the Heat their first win of the KFC BBL|10 just three days ago, however, the bat flip had other ideas, with the Hurricanes losing and being sent into bat.
It was a horror start to the match, with opener, D’Arcy Short, being dismissed for a second-ball-duck - on just the second ball of the match. However, in just his second match in purple, Dawid Malan joined Ben McDermott at the crease to steady the ship, making a handy 39 runs off 32 balls.
Like Sunday’s game, the middle order all got starts, but no one could manage to turn it into a big score, largely thanks to the brilliance of the Heat’s Afghani spinner, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who finished with incredible figures of 5-15 off his four overs; the best figures with the ball of the season to date.
Boosted by another handy knock from Tim David – 36 off 17 at a strike rate in excess of 200 – the Hurricanes survived a potential Mujeeb hat trick and were all out for 150 – with just two balls remaining in their innings.
Missing opening bowler, James Faulkner, through an injury sustained in Sunday night’s game, 24-year-old Riley Meredith stepped up into his role in alarming fashion. Clocking over 150kms per hour in his initial spell, Meredith claimed the scalps of Sam Heazlett (0) and Tom Cooper (1) in the first and third overs respectively, whilst also took a nice catch in the outfield – off the bowling of Scott Boland – to dismiss Jack Wildermuth in the second. Midway through the third over, the ‘Canes were in a commanding position with the Heat at 3-7, but the Queenslanders were far from laying down.
The Hurricanes had set the target of 66 for the Heat to get the Bash Boost point after 10 overs, a target they fell just short of, sitting at 4-64 after 10 overs. However, certain Heat batsman had more than just the single Bash Boost point on their mind, with Lewis Gregory (29 off 27) and James Bazley (49* off 31) both exciting with the bat.
When former Hurricane, Simon Milenko – the last true batter of the Heat’s line-up – was dismissed by a difficult catch by Malan off the bowling of Nathan Ellis, it seemed the match was the Canes for the taking. Mark Steketee, however, had other ideas, rallying as great support to Bazley, and finishing unbeaten on 14 off 11.
In the end the equation came down to this: seven runs required to win off the last over. Boland with the ball in hand. Bazley at the striker’s end. Single. Single. Single. Dot. Two.
With one ball remaining, this meant the Heat needed two runs to take the win. One run would see the match go to a super over.
A full toss from Boland saw Steketee drive it to short extra cover. Into the clutches of Colin Ingram. It was a direct hit of the stumps from Ingram, but was Steketee safe?
To the naked eye, his bat was past the crease, but after must deliberation Steketee’s bat was correctly adjusted to not be grounded when the zing bails lit up. He was out. The run didn’t count. The Hurricanes took the win in an absolute thriller, with both teams splitting the points evenly from the back-to-back fixtures.
The Hurricanes will now return to Hobart, where they will take on the Stars in similar back-to-back fixtures at Blundstone Arena.
The Hurricanes and Stars will meet on Saturday 2 January, and then again on Monday 4 January. Limited tickets for both matches are still available but must be pre-purchased before arriving at the ground.