Fighting half centuries from Hobart Hurricanes’ Beau Webster and Jonathan Wells went in vain as opener Ben Dunk slammed an unbeaten 49-ball 79 to take Adelaide Strikers to their second victory of the season when the two teams met each other for the second time this week at the Adelaide Oval.
Opting to bowl first against the Hurricanes, the Strikers had reduced them to 30/5 within the Powerplay but a counter-attacking 89-run partnership between the aforementioned pair lifted them to a respectable 161, which would eventually prove to be insufficient on a flat batting track.
Brief Scores: Hobart Hurricanes – 161/8 (Beau Webster 67*(43), Jonathan Wells 55(37); Chris Jordan 3/24(4), Ben Laughlin 2/33(4));
Adelaide Strikers – 164/5 18.2 overs (Ben Dunk 79*(49), Brad Hodge 30(20); Daniel Christian 2/24(4), Stuart Broad 2/37(4));
#5 Jordan and Stanlake run through Hobart’s top order
Coming into the match, Chris Jordan had proved to be expensive and wayward in many of his spells despite picking up wickets. However, the England bowler was spot-on today, finishing with season-best figures of 3/24 off his 4 overs. Along with Billy Stanlake, he was instrumental in orchestrating Hobart’s early batting collapse.
The first breakthrough came through part-timer Travis Head, who shared the new ball with Stanlake and accounted for opener D'Arcy Short. The in-form Tim Paine was Jordan’s first victim, caught behind off a good length delivery. Stanlake struck twice in the next over, dismissing Sangakkara and Daniel Christian off successive deliveries - the latter bagging a golden duck.
Jordan picked his second when Bailey’s attempt to drive through cover found the fielder at backward point. By the end of the Powerplay, the Hurricanes had lost half their side for 37 runs.
#4 Webster and Wells counter-attack
When in trouble, a batting team has only two ways out – either grind the bowling and play the waiting game or hit their way out of trouble. Hobart’s sixth-wicket pair chose the latter as they slammed 89 runs in the next 11 overs.
From 30/5, the pair mixed big-hitting with quick running between the wickets, ensuring that their bowlers would have just enough to defend on a good batting track. Webster remained unbeaten on 67, whereas Wells was dismissed for a 37-ball 55 when he mistimed a shot towards long-on.
#3 Captain Hodge plays perfect cameo
Captain Brad Hodge came to the crease when Travis Head mistimed a slower ball from Kingston straight into the hands of Webster at point. The Strikers had lost two early wickets but Dunk was going great guns at the other end. Hodge started tentatively, surviving a few close lbw calls.
However, he turned things around with a 19-run over from medium pacer Kingston, striking two sixes and a four in the over. The first ball - a slower delivery – was picked and hit hard over midwicket. In the very next ball, he went one better, going over the same region for a massive six.
The captain brought up the team’s 100, depositing another six in the same over, over cover. He was eventually dismissed softly, guiding a length ball into the wicket-keeper’s hands.
#2 A slightly Broad scare
Though the target was never out-of-hand at any point, the Strikers suffered a slight scare when three of their middle order batsmen departed in quick succession. Stuart Broad struck twice, first removing an ominous-looking Hodge and then Jono Dean for a duck. Dan Christian picked his second wicket when he trapped Pollard in front of the stumps.
But with Dunk around and just a run-a-ball target required at that point, it was never going to be enough for the Hurricanes.
#1 Dunk’s fine form continues
Dunk started spectacularly, hitting all around the ground to bring up his fifty off 30 balls. While wickets fell at regular intervals at one end, Dunk was going hammer and tongs at the other, continuing his good form in this season.
After the dismissals of Weatherald and Head, he found a good ally in Hodge but the Strikers found themselves in a slight spot of bother when the dismissal of Hodge saw Pollard and Jono Dean follow in quick succession and Jordan walk out to bat.
Probably, to avoid further hiccups, the pair traded bravado for safe-play and opted to milk the bowling for the ones and twos before Jordan finished the match with the customary six.
Ben Dunk was adjudged the ‘Player of the match’ for his unbeaten 79.