The Hobart Hurricanes are clinging on to slender hopes of playoff qualification in the Big Bash League and need a win when they take on the Adelaide Strikers at Aurora Stadium in Launceston on Sunday.
The Hurricanes have seven points from 10 matches and at this stage only the Renegades have fewer points. The Strikers have 11 points and are third in the points table. The Hurricanes are without a win in their last four fixtures, while the Strikers have won two of their last three matches.
The Hurricanes haven’t really picked up steam after D’Arcy Short left for national duties. Only Caleb Jewell with 171 runs (SR 110.32) has been anywhere close to being impressive. Even Matthew Wade hasn’t kicked on this season and the Hurricanes continue to struggle with the bat.
With the ball, barring Qais Ahmad (11 wickets, ER 7.91), there wasn’t any leader for the Hurricanes. Scott Boland hasn’t really managed to lead the side after making an early impact. With so much at stake, it will be interesting to see if the Hurricanes can find someone to stand up and be counted.
The Strikers seem to be picking up steam with two wins in their last three. Jake Weatherald (332 runs, SR 148.87) continues to be their best batsman, while Jon Wells (306 runs, SR 131.89) has also been among the runs. Phil Salt too is rising up the ‘form ladder’ at the right time.
Bowling has been all about the duo of Rashid Khan (16 wickets) and Peter Siddle (11 wickets), who have also been conceding at under 7 runs an over. With most of their players picking up form at the right time, it looks like the Strikers are ready to stay ahead of the chasing pack in the playoff race.
The Hurricanes are all but out of the race for the playoffs. However, the Strikers are still in charge of their own destiny. A win here will increase their chances and hence the Strikers will hope to take advantage of the Hurricanes’ poor form. With their bowling in such top form, expect the visitors to claim the win.
History & Statistics
- The Hurricanes have lost five of the six H2Hs when losing the toss.
- The Hurricanes have lost 2 of 3 matches they played at neutral venues.
- The designated home side on the day has won 7 of the last 9 H2Hs.
- The Strikers had the highest opening partnership in 5 of their last 8 BBL|09 matches this season.
- The Strikers have won three of the last four H2Hs.
With the season on the line, can Wade rise to the occasion? He was often the partner in crime for Short last season, but needs to do the same in his absence this time.
Rashid Khan is in cracking form for the Strikers this season and has eight wickets in his last four matches.