The pressure of a high priority game got the better of Hurricanes today. In a must-win encounter, especially after Brisbane Heat won against Perth Scorchers, Hurricanes lost by 11 runs. Thus so, losing a spot in the finals. Their bowlers had done an excellent job after Matthew Wade opted to field first. Riley Meredith led the way with three wickets by conceding an economy of less than six in his full quota of four overs. He was equally supported by Scott Boland and D’Arcy Short. However, a monumental knock off 54* from 35 balls by Beau Webster saw Renegades post 150 on board. A total the bowlers would fancy defending.
The bigger task for Renegades was to contain 151 runs against an explosive batting line-up. For the first few balls, there was an indication of an early finish as Matthew Wade went after the bowling attack. It was Zak Evans who brought them back into the game in the third over. After being scooped for a six and a four of his first two deliveries, Evans came back strongly to see the back of the dangerous Wade. It was at this point where it started to slip for Hurricanes. By the end of the first Powerplay, they had lost two wickets. Though Dawid Malan and D’Arcy Short tried to rebuild, the pressure of the creeping required run rate got the better of both. At the first half, Hurricanes still had a chance, but regular wicket intervals in the second half cost them the match and the qualification.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR HURRICANES?
It wasn’t that kind of a game in which one team dominated and the other were sitting ducks. In both the innings, it was the second half of the innings that changed the momentum, tilted mostly towards Renegades. In the first innings, Hurricanes bowlers were absolutely on top of their game in the first 10 overs. The raw pace of Meredith was too good for the Renegades batsmen. Finch’s horrendous tournament continued as he skewed one to mid-on. Shaun Marsh was undone by a fast full-length ball that ricocheted off his bat onto the stumps. By the end of 10 overs, Renegades were 58/4 and an all-out was looming all over.
However, the pair of Mackenzie Harvey and Webster had other ideas. Probably, Hurricane loosened a bit after the start they had got. In any case, not nullifying the effort of the duo. They put on a spirited partnership of 63 from 46 balls for the fifth wicket to give some sort of solidity. Even after the dismissal of Harvey, Webster continued to pile on the runs. On the contrary, Hurricanes bowlers who had conceded only two boundaries in the first 10 overs, went for nine in the second half. They had lost the plot in the second half after conceding 92 runs while picking up only two wickets.
It was the similar pattern in their batting as well that led them to their exit from the tournament. After a sensational start, Hurricanes lost Wade and Ben McDermott in quick succession. Then, Short and Malan led their resurrection till the 10th over. They also gained the Bash Boost on route. But, the Power surge once again led to their downfall. With both Short and Malan looking settled, Hurricanes opted for the two overs of field restriction at the start of the 11th over. In the first over itself, Short was dismissed by a cracker jack of a Yorker from Evans. A set back at the start of the field restriction led to a cautious approach and saw a boundaryless two overs. There on, none of their batsmen were able to kick-off. The five overs (11-15) saw no boundaries and the required run rate that was hovering around 8.9 creeped up to 12 at the start of the last five overs.
Even with the required rate around 12 in the last five overs, the boundaries never came. In fact, in the last 10 overs, they scored only three boundaries. In addition to their boundary drought, they kept on losing wickets. They lost seven wickets in the second half. Overall, with the ball and bat, Hurricanes were poor in overs 11-20.
In the end, not to take the credit of the bowlers and fielders, but it was just one of those days in which, a batting might of a team like Hurricanes was blown away. While Zak Evans starred for the Renegades with a fifer, Webster’s cameo at the end was what gave them a shot at victory. Not only have they crashed out of the tournament, they have livened up the scenario for the final match of the league stage. A win with a Bash Boost for Melbourne Stars could see them through to the Finals.