James Faulkner gave Adelaide Strikers deja vu of the previous encounter between the two sides, played two days ago, when he picked two wickets in the first over. Jake Weatherald and Alex Carey, back in the side after serving for Australia A, forged a 107-run stand to revive Strikers’ run-chase. Earlier, Peter Siddle shone with the ball, picking his maiden 5-wicket haul in T20 cricket, to curb Hobart Hurricanes to 146. The trio ensured Strikers’ first win of the season with full four points from the game.
Put in to bat, Hurricanes’ innings went through all curves of a sin x graph. The start was poor. Both Will Jacks and D’Arcy Short were out within the first 11 balls of the game. Jacks miscued a lofted drive straight to Weatherald at point. Short, was strangled down the leg side off an innocuous delivery from Siddle. Peter Handscomb became the third batsman to fall in the four-over Powerplay, nicking Wes Agar to the wicketkeeper.
Each of the three Strikers' pacers snaffled a wicket. In an overhauled strategy, the Strikers kept Danny Briggs away from the attack during the field restrictions, which in Hobart, allowed the Hurricanes to break free.
Ben McDermott, fresh from a hundred for Australia A, restored Hurricanes’ innings with Colin Ingram. In a partnership framed around a clear strategy to attack the spinners, except Rashid Khan, the duo added 75 runs for the fourth wicket from 49 balls. Danny Briggs and Matt Renshaw conceded 45 runs their three overs combined. McDermott struck them for two sixes and Ingram, having batted at run-a-ball for his first 14 runs also cut loose against Briggs.
That remained to be the only over Briggs bowled. The Strikers missed out on an opportunity to use the X-Factor in the previous game but tonight, they were proactive. Though it was surprising that they went for a spin bowling allrounder with an better expertise in batting, Matt Short, instead of the pace bowling variant, Cameron Valente. On the other hand, Hurricanes also used the substitution option. Watching the inadequacy of finger spinners and in the wake of early wickets, they replaced Johan Botha with Macalister Wright.
Wright was in the middle soon. Rashid broke the threatening stand by inducing an outside edge off McDermott’s bat for 46. McDermott’s departure sent Ingram into shell, who from then on, attempted to bat deep. Wright and Ingram took Hurricanes to 116 by the start of the death overs, with Power Surge in hand as well, hence, setting up an interesting finish.
Although, things did not go as planned. Ingram fell in the 16th over, for 46, in a soft dismissal. This started an incessant flow of wicket and kept delaying the Power Surge. Siddle struck twice in the 18th over, taking out Wright and Faulkner. The Power Surge was finally taken in the last possible slot.
Only Tim David was left as a specialist batsman by then alongside Nathan Ellis, who had shown some batting caliber. Ellis, however, was run out by a splendid direct hit from the deep by Matt Renshaw while attempting a second run to get David back on strike. Siddle did the rest, cleaning up both David and Riley Meredith to end Hurricanes’ innings with three ball to spare. His last spell read four wickets for 5 runs in nine balls. Hurricanes were limited to 146 when they could have scored 160 at least.
As mentioned above, Strikers also had a false start. Phil Salt’s dismissal was reminiscent to the ball which got him on Sunday (December 13). Three legitimate balls later, Matt Renshaw timed Faulkner straight down deep mid-wicket's throat.
There were a few more close appeals in the following overs but Weatherald and Carey carried on. The help for the seamers suddenly vanished and the two left-handers caressed their way to their respective half-centuries, bringing up a 107-run stand between them.
When Carey was out for 55 - to Scott Boland in the 14th over - the required rate was below 5 per over. It was supposed to be formalities and Weatherald’s unbeaten 68 corroborated that there is no funny business. Ellis did strike twice in the 19th over but it was all done and dusted by then, as the Strikers were only 2 runs short of their target. Siddle was adjudged man-of-the-match for his match turning spell.