Hobart Hurricanes continued their 100 percent record at the Bellerive Oval this season with yet another clinical win – this time it was a 21-run win over Melbourne Stars. Stars as a result, have now lost three matches in a row and currently in fifth position with 11 points from six games. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, have won two matches on the bounce and have moved up to second place with 18 points in their kitty from seven matches.
Stars looked well on course to achieving their target, but back-to-back dismissals of Glenn Maxwell (70) and Nicholas Pooran (14) brought an end to their chances. They put on 72 for the fourth wicket after which Stars managed just 31 more runs from 44 balls.
Scott Boland led the bowling attack well, finishing 3 for 22, which included the wicket of Marcus Stoinis (7) and Pooran. He was well supported by Nathan Ellis (2 for 11) and Sandeep Lamichhane (2 for 38), who played his first game of the season.
The fact that Stars lost their last six wickets for just 26 runs too did not help.
Malan sets it up
Dawid Malan top-scored for the Hurricanes with a 56-ball 75 to help his team to 164 for 5 on a slow wicket. His 82-run second wicket partnership with Ben McDermott (31) set an excellent platform for the Hurricanes, who put up a decent score on the board. Malan should have been dismissed earlier, but he was caught off a no-ball when he was batting on 54. He went on to score 21 more runs, which incidentally turned out to be the margin of defeat for Stars.
The surface was not the easiest one to bat on, but McDermott and Malan took their time initially and then when they got their eye in, started playing some exquisite shots.
The No. 1 T20I batsman in his three innings in the tournament has scored 15, 39 and 75 and could potentially be a dangerous figure at the top, which bodes well for the Hurricanes.
Hiccup in the Power Surge
As it has happened many times before this season, the two-over power surge ends up benefitting the bowling side, instead of the batting team. Today was no different as the Hurricanes batting first managed just five runs in two overs, whereas the Stars could muster up just 10. While the Hurricanes could have easily gone past the 175-run mark, the Stars could have tilted the game in their favour had they played sensibly and perhaps scored 10-15 runs more in those two overs. Unfortunately, both teams failed to utilize it, but in the end, it hurt the Stars more than it did the Hurricanes.
Bowlers stand tall
The bowlers kept the match in balance and did not let the batsmen tee away at any point. Maxwell did punish the Hurricanes bowlers, but he played one shot too many when he didn’t have too and in the end, his rash shot cost his side the game. While it was Boland who stood out for the Hurricanes, Billy Stanlake performed a similar role for the Stars, finishing with 3 for 25 from his four overs. He got the wickets of McDermott and Nathan Ellis off consecutive deliveries to break the Hurricanes’ momentum before dismissing the dangerous Colin Ingram for a 12-ball 26.
Openers an issue
Andre Fletcher has managed just 62 from his six innings so far and as far as the Hurricanes are concerned, D’Arcy Short has managed just 42 runs from his last five innings, which is a huge problem for both the sides. Invariably, their team lose a wicket early, which puts them on the back foot. While the teams might recover from the early jolt, but it may not be the case all the time. It may not be a bad idea to give someone else a chance in the upcoming games as we head towards the business end of the tournament.
The Melbourne Stars will have a chance to quickly redeem themselves as they once again play the Hobart Hurricanes in their next match at The Gabba on Monday (January 4).
Hobart Hurricanes 165 for 5 in 20 overs (Dawid Malan 75, Ben McDermott 31; Billy Stanlake 3 for 25) beat Melbourne Stars (Glenn Maxwell 70, Sam Rainbird 15; Scott Boland 3 for 22) by 21 runs.
Player of the match: Scott Boland