In the re-match of a game played in Hobart just two days ago, proceedings started off in a similar fashion with the Strikers winning the toss and sending the home side into bat.
The similarities between the two games seemingly ended there however, with openers Will Jacks (0) and D’Arcy Short (2) both falling cheaply. Returning from his heroics with Australia ‘A’, Ben McDermott got stuck in however, posting a quick-fire 46 off 33 balls. He was joined in a partnership by Colin Ingram, who also notched up 46 runs, bringing him to a tournament-total of 126 runs after three matches; and the leader of the BKT Golden Bat tally to boot.
With conditions on the new University of Tasmania Stadium pitch somewhat unpredictable, at the halfway mark of the first innings – in somewhat unprecedented fashion – both sides elected to make their X Factor substitution; the first occurrence of this since the rule’s inception. The Hurricanes substituted Johan Botha for Mac Wright, whilst the Strikers switched English import Danny Briggs for Matt Short.
Once the 75-run partnership between McDermott and Ingram was broken, the ‘Canes struggled to make another partnership stick. That, combined with the heroics of Strikers’ quick Peter Siddle with the ball – he took out Player of the Match with figures of 5-15 off 3.3 overs – saw the Hurricanes bowled out for 146 runs, with three balls remaining in their innings.
It was a near perfect start with the ball for the Hurricanes, with James Faulkner getting the wickets of both Phil Salt (6) and Matt Renshaw (2) in the first over. However, from there the Strikers dug in, and with a dropped catch and a couple of decisions not going in the Hurricanes favour, the Strikers took the advantage, securing the Bash Boost bonus point in the 10th over.
With Strikers Captain, Alex Carey, returning to the side from national duties with a well-made 55 off 40, combined with opener Jake Weatherald finishing unbeaten on 68 to suitably mark his 50th BBL match, it looked like the winning runs would be notched up with several overs to spare. However, yet another polished performance with the ball from Scott Boland (1-15 off his four overs) and a couple of late wickets from Nathan Ellis, saw the Hurricanes fight right to the end and give the Launceston crowd a performance they could cheer right until the end.
In the end, the Strikers reached the 147 required for victory with eight balls to spare.
The Hurricanes will now enjoy a three-day break before taking on the Melbourne Renegades at Blundstone Arena on Saturday.
Tickets to the match are still available, but must be purchased before heading to the ground.
MORE INFO: www.hobarthurricanes.com.au/tickets