Having picked up form at the right moment before the business end of things in the Big Bash League, Adelaide Strikers will end their regular season with a home match against the Hobart Hurricanes.
The meeting at Adelaide Oval will see the Hurricanes bid to boost their playoff chances, which are hanging by the proverbial thread.
The Strikers have 17 points from 13 matches (W8, L4, NR1) and are gunning for the second spot. With their NRR already better than their nearest competitor (Sydney Sixers), a win here will guarantee second spot. The Hurricanes have 11 points so far (W5, L7, NR1) and need a win to stay in contention for the playoff places.
The Strikers are on a roll and at the right moment of time too. With four wins in a row, they have made sure that the top-two hopes are in their own hands. The form of Jake Weatherald and Alex Carey – both aggregating 300+ runs – is a big boost. The presence of the consistent Jon Wells in the middle-order has been a game-changer.
With the ball, it has been the trio of Rashid Khan (18 wickets, ER 6.97), Peter Siddle (17 wickets, ER 7.14) and Wes Agar (16 wickets, ER 8.27) that has been doing the job for the Strikers.
The Hurricanes have missed pairing D’Arcy Short (248 runs, SR 128.49) and Matthew Wade (207 runs, SR 155.63) at the top for long, although they are still in the top-five race. If they can be a bit more consistent with their scores, making it three wins on the trot isn’t going to be tough.
With the ball, Qais Ahmad and Scott Boland have excelled with 12 wickets each, and Nathan Ellis has impressed with his death bowling. And in D’Arcy Short (six wickets), they might have found a perfect spin option.
The Strikers are the red-hot team at the moment having notched up four wins in a row. They have been striking big in all departments and look a good balanced team. The Hurricanes will not go down easily, though, considering the fact that their season hinges on this result. Expect a close enough encounter with both sides going for a positive result. The Strikers, though, have a slight edge considering the all-round strength they have in the squad.
History & Statistics
- The Strikers have won five of the last six H2Hs at this venue and their last three against all sides.
- The Strikers have had the best power play score in eight of their 13 matches.
- The Strikers had the best opening partnership in their last five BBL|09 matches.
- The Hurricanes have lost four of the last five H2Hs.
- The Hurricanes’ D’Arcy Short has 355 runs in H2H matches – the highest by any batsman against the Strikers (Avg. 59.16, 4×50).
Right at the business end of things, Agar has found form for the Adelaide Strikers. He has taken 11 wickets in his last four matches, managing at least two wickets each time.
Mac Wright, drafted late into the Hurricanes’ squad, is having a whale of time. He has responded to his selection with scores of 70* & 64 in his last two matches. Can he make it a hat-trick of 50s?