Hobart Hurricanes, helped by a magnificent hundred by young Ben McDermott and a half-century by George Bailey, chased down a mammoth score of 223 to move above the Melbourne Renegades in the points table. Buoyed by the performance of their batsmen, Stuart Broad hit 11 off 4 balls in the final over bowled by Thisara Perera.
Needing 5 to win off 2 balls, Broad outside edged a four off the Sri Lankan seamer before getting a single to seal the affair.
Earlier, Aaron Finch and Tom Cooper hit half-centuries to help Melbourne Renegades to 222. Finch had Harris for company, instead of Sunil Narine, and the duo put on 42 in 4 overs to get off to a blazing start. Cooper combined with Aaron Finch and later Thisara Perera, to help his side past the 200 mark.
Perera made an 11-ball 28 in the final stages of the innings but could not hold the same kind of nerve with the ball later in the Hurricanes’ chase.
Brief Scores: Melbourne Renegades 222/4 in 20 overs (Finch 63, Cooper 53) lost to Hobart Hurricanes 223/8 in 20 overs (McDermott 114, Bailey 59, Narine 3/27)
Result: Hobart Hurricanes win by 2 wickets
#5 Finch turns it on for the Renegades
The new year did not start well for Aaron Finch with the news about him being dropped from the ODI squad making headlines. The opener has been a regular part of Australia’s limited over plans and the sudden drop came out of the blue, although he hadn’t been making a lot of runs.
However, Finch has been on fire in the Big Bash with a half-century last week and started today well. He smoked Rainbird for a six to start his boundary hitting but really turned it on after the dismissal of Harris. A six and a four off Boyce took him very close to yet another half-century.
Finch was eventually dismissed on 63 by Short, whom he tried to slog sweep, only to get a top edge that landed safely in the hands of Tim Paine. He had made a 40-ball 63, with 6 fours and two sixes helping his side to a blazing start.
#4 Tom Cooper’s all-round show
Cooper carried on the work done by Harris and Finch, making a useful 53 off a mere 27 balls with seven fours and two sixes. The Australia Under-19 and Dutch international batsman used the crease to good effect, striking some beautiful shots en route his half-century.
Cooper had already taken over from Finch before he was dismissed. He smacked Short for a four and two sixes before the Hobart opener dismissed Finch in the same over. Cooper had by then got into his groove and continued his onslaught.
He took Renegades past 200, with Thisara Perera giving him company. Walking off unbeaten, he was given the new ball, possibly because D’Arcy Short is not a great player of spin bowling. The off-spinner dismissed skipper, Tim Paine with his 3rd ball and the first over went for just 4. Cooper was given another over, in which he promptly dismissed the dangerous Short, cleaning him up.
#3 Ben McDermott pushes his case
With Australia to play a T20 against Lanka at home a day before their Test series against India, they will need two completely separate teams representing the country in the two formats. Ben McDermott did his case of being picked in that T20 squad – expected to be full of freshers – no harm by smacking his first T20 fifty and converting it into a hundred.
The son of former Australian seamer, Craig McDermott, the right-handed batsman had not hit a hundred at this level before. He had, in fact, no fifties to his name even in List A cricket. But the right-hander had the Renegades running all around the field with his hitting.
McDermott smashed 114 off just 52 balls, that included 8 fours and nine whopping sixes. The Gabba was not prepared for this kind of hitting by a 22-year-old but if none had thought much about the talent of this kid, he had everyone sit up and take notice with this knock. Who knows, this hundred might very well earn him an Australian cap for the T20 series against Lanka.
#2 Bailey almost makes Australia rue
George Bailey was skipper of the Australian T20 side and has also captained their ODI side but he was dropped for the ODI series against Pakistan starting tomorrow.
He had answered the selectors with an unbeaten 69 for the Hurricanes a day after he was dropped. If that wasn’t a strong enough message, Bailey once again notched up a half-century in a successful chase of 223.
Bailey came into bat with the Hurricanes at 19/2. With a huge target to achieve, he had a supporting role to play as young Ben McDermott took apart the Melbourne Renegades’ bowlers. The duo put on a 151-run stand in less than 13 overs, making them favourites to win the game at the time.
However, McDermott fell soon after his hundred and while Bailey hit a six and two fours off a Perera over, he was dismissed by Narine in the next, with Hurricanes still a bit away from the target. Bailey has been in good form of late and the Aussie selectors would be wondering if they made the right call.
#1 Sunil Narine comes to the party
Sunil Narine is a reputed name in limited overs cricket, with his mysterious action and tricky balls. The West Indian is known to be a miserly customer with the ball and picks up crucial wickets, and in T20s, he is a nightmare for batsmen.
Narine was once again at it against the Hurricanes, coughing up their chase with a fantastic 19th over that went for just six runs and yielded two wickets, including that of the dangerous George Bailey. The West Indian had Webster top-edging a sweep to deep mid-wicket before he got the prized wicket of Bailey, who skyed a flat batted shot to long-on.
The wily spinner hadn’t set the Big Bash alight thus far in this season, but he almost did it with his spectacular over today. But for a poor last over from Perera, which saw him concede 16 runs to tail-enders, Narine would have been the hero of a well-scripted performance.