Hobart Hurricanes 4 for 166 (Short 59, McDermott 32*) beat Brisbane Heat 8 for 165 (McCullum 51, Burns 38, Archer 2-32) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Hobart Hurricanes have won back-to-back matches over Brisbane Heat and completed their fifth-straight win to jump to third on the BBL points table.
Having won their last four matches defending totals, the Hurricanes produced a clinical run-chase that was again led by the BBL’s in-form player D’Arcy Short. He made his fourth consecutive score of more than fifty and set a new season record for the most runs in a BBL season with atleast three games to go. Outstanding cameos from Man-of-the-Match winner Daniel Christian and Ben McDermott saw the Hurricanes cruise home with 10 balls to spare.
The Hurricanes should have been chasing more than 166 given the Heat were motoring at 3 for 111 after 13 overs with Brendon McCullum unbeaten on 51 and set to explode. But his dismissal saw the Heat hit the skids. Christian, Cameron Boyce and Jofra Archer bowled six very tidy overs between them to help set up the chase. The Heat now slip outside the top four having played one more game than the Hurricanes, Melbourne Renegades and Adelaide Strikers.
McCullum bats deeper
McCullum’s tournament has been effective without being outstanding. His role is basically to go hard or go home. Rarely will he try and take his innings deep into the late overs. In six matches he had not reached the end of the 12th over. But the Heat opted for one less batsman in selection and so McCullum knew the importance of batting longer on a very good surface. It was up to Joe Burns to do most of the attacking after Sam Heazlett fell early. Burns and McCullum scored 62 runs in the powerplay with Burns contributing 37 of them, although he faced nine more balls than McCullum.
Burns took to Archer in one over crunching two fours a six, but fell the next over. McCullum, however, cruised to 50 from 35 balls without really hitting top gear. He only hit one six in his innings. When he holed out attempting a second in the 14th over, the game turned on its head.
Ben Cutting and Jimmy Peirson have played some gems at the back end of innings in this tournament. Hurricanes captain George Bailey identified the moment and turned to his best death bowlers earlier than usual. Archer and Christian bowled two overs for just six runs. Christian’s was his first over for the match and did remarkably well to execute his skills in the death overs, having not bowled earlier in the last two games. Bailey then did his bit in the field: converting a clutch direct-hit to remove the dangerous Cutting. Christian forced a mis-hit from Peirson in the next over and the Heat spluttered to 8 for 165 in the first innings.
The game appeared to be on Short’s bat from the moment the chase started. Alex Doolan’s dismissal in the first over didn’t cause a stir, nor did Bailey scoring at less than a run-a-ball for 21 deliveries. Short, in the middle of the form of his life, played some exquisite cricket shots. None were better than a back-foot punch off Yasir Shah wide of mid off for four. His 17th run saw him set a new record for the most runs in a BBL season, with some league-stage games still to go. The Heat contained him as best they could via the leg spin of Shah and Mitch Swepson but the 30 runs he scored in the Powerplay meant, it was Short who dominated in the end.
Short did need help though. After Bailey had chewed up 21 deliveries for just 19, the move of the match was to promote Christian to pinch hit. Christian executed the role perfectly, hitting the first ball he faced for a maximum. He hit two more sixes before holing out off his ninth ball for 23. The equation plummeted from 83 runs off 58 balls when he entered, to 45 from 43 when he walked off.
Short’s shock dismissal to Mark Steketee two overs later did not have dire consequences given Christian’s efforts. McDermott picked up the slack and hit the ball with extraordinary power. His effortless 19-ball 32 saw the Hurricanes do the double over the Heat.