Hobart Hurricanes 2 for 185 (Short 96*, O’Connell 1-17) beat Melbourne Stars 126 (Gotch 35, Meredith 4-21) by 59 runs
D’Arcy Short was robbed of a second BBL century but no one can steal top spot from the Hobart Hurricanes, as they opened up a four-point at the top of the BBL table after thumping Melbourne Stars at the MCG.
Short made a masterful, unbeaten 96 from just 57 balls, although he had those crucial four runs stolen from him after a boundary in the 18th over was incorrectly called leg byes. It was the fourth time in seven matches this season he was named Player of the Match. Short is the only man in BBL history to have four scores of 90 or more. He struck four sixes, and became the second fastest to 50 BBL sixes behind Chris Gayle.
Short and Matthew Wade set up the game with a 95-run opening stand in just 11.3 overs after the Hurricanes were sent in to bat. The pair now have the two highest opening partnerships of the season and became the first pair in BBL history to share seven partnerships of 50 or more.
Short powered on to help the Hurricanes post an imposing total of 2 for 185. It was too much for the inexperienced Stars. They lost four wickets in the first eight overs to a mixture of raw pace and wily spin. Such was the Hurricanes’ dominance, they posted a short leg in place when Nic Maddinson came to the crease. Riley Meredith and Jofra Archer peppered the Stars with 145kph short balls. Meredith took 4 for 21 and Archer 2 for 23. The guile of Johan Botha complemented the pace barrage with 2 for 21 as the Stars folded for 126.
Short and Wade are an unusual opening combination. Most successful openers in T20s explode in the Powerplay before naturally slowing once the field goes out. Short and Wade did the opposite, bucking conventional wisdom that spin is their kryptonite. They really struggled in the Powerplay.
Short was dropped by the keeper Seb Gotch on 3. It was a tough chance off the top edge but Gotch’s upright stance when the edge was found did not give him the best power base to jump vertically. Wade and Short then scored only 40 runs in the Powerplay, finding the boundary only three times. But in the five overs thereafter they plundered 52. They bullied the inexperienced spin of Liam Bowe and Tom O’Connell as well as the part-time offering of Ben Dunk. Wade holed out when the partnership reached 95, having been dropped the ball before.
Short had only the minor share of the strike, facing only 31 balls in his 69-ball stand with Wade. He barely got the majority share in the last 8.3 overs. Jake Doran was oddly sent in at No.3 and chewed up 8 balls for 7 runs. Short’s six-hitting rhythm was broken as a result. He launched his fourth six in the 15thover but didn’t hit another.
More to follow…