Hurricanes in Hobart 6 for 180 (McDermott 67, Wade 39, Russell 3-48) beat Melbourne stars 9 for 156 (Clarke 52, Rogers 3-29, Meredith 3-32) on 24 runs
Hobart Hurricanes sparked their stuttering BBL season with a brilliant performance, stopping the Melbourne Stars’ punches in a competition marred by a controversial, deliberate short haul by Tim David. Hurricanes were hit with a rare five-run penalty after David purposely grounded his bat about two meters from the crease in the first run while attempting to run in the final two of the innings. But it seemed to spur the hosts on who then narrowed down the mighty stars-batter in a much-needed win for the Hurricanes.
The reshuffle of the hurricanes nullifies the fighting blows
A desperate hurricane changed its strokes again, with Ben McDermott being promoted to the Open in place of the struggling D’Arcy Short. And it did the trick, with the punchy McDermott, who usually hits # 4, and got Hurricanes on a plane with its opener Matthew Wade. He hit the first ball of the inning from Glenn Maxwell to the limit en route to a 14-run opening.
The willingness of his new opening partner to fight was so great that Wade was atypically overtaken, even though he crossed 2000 BBL runs in the process. Her 93-run score ended on lap 10 when Wade made a good catch from Hilton Cartwright when Hurricanes resisted the temptation to get David up and Short hit the target instead.
However, his form battles helped McDermott lose momentum and eventually die for 67. Short now seems like a mile from the Dynamo who was once the BBL’s best batsman when he crawled on 6 of his first ten balls. He briefly rediscovered his old touch when he chased away Andre Russell on stream 14, but soon fell to 26.
Hurricanes then strangely brought on Peter Handscomb instead of David, who had a belated chance of death and demonstrated his brute strength with a massive six against Russell in the penultimate over. David made a quick fire 12-ball 22 and was embroiled in some rather comical controversy as well; However, hurricanes may need to use it much earlier.
Zampa-less stars defend themselves well
Stars had the tough job without talisman Adam Zampa, who was rested after his heavy workload for the past several months, particularly on a belt of a playing field, and the Hurricanes’ opening games went up in flames. But they showed a brilliant performance, initially with Qais Ahmad, who held his own against the current, to get back into the competition, while the young, fast Brody Couch continued to impress with his speed and accuracy.
Stars successfully reversed their tactics in the backend of the innings by bowling full and wide, while the veteran pair of Russell and Nathan Coulter-Nile frustrated hurricanes whose innings were running out of breath. It was a formidable star comeback, with skipper Maxwell doing an excellent job switching bowlers and implementing a well-planned strategy.
The stars’ high-voltage cotton wool does not ignite
The stars dreamed of their chances but lost Marcus Stoinis and Maxwell’s key wickets in the first eight overs to reduce their chances. The pressure was on English importer Joe Clarke, who had made two ducks in his only innings that season but rediscovered his best skills with a 37-ball half-century.
Clarke made his move in the tenth lap with consecutive sixes ahead of Sandeep Lamichhane, who transpired 18 runs in a momentum shifting. The wicketkeeper batter found a willing ally in Joe Burns, who set the BBL season off to a punctual start with a single blow.
But just as stars were looking for the goods, Clarke and Burns were walking in quick succession when the visitors dropped out. There was too much to do for Russell, playing in his penultimate BBL game that season, and when he was 18 years old, the Stars suffered their third loss of the season and remain difficult to read as they battle for a first BBL title.
Full report follows …