The Hobart Hurricanes host the Sydney Thunder at Blundstone Arena on Friday night with both teams in need of a win as the finals are rapidly approach. Both teams currently sit outside of the top four and they are coming off contrasting results.
The Thunder lost their last match by 8 wickets to the Scorchers in what was a disappointing result for them after beating the Sixers the game before. The Hurricanes, however, put together a good display against the Renegades which saw them earn a four-run victory.
In the last match between the Hurricanes and Thunder, the Thunder came out victorious, winning with two balls to spare. However, the Hurricanes have received two major boosts for this clash with the return of D’Arcy Short from international duty and all-rounder James Faulkner also returns after recovering from a calf tear.
The Hurricanes lead the head to head between these two sides, winning seven of the eleven meetings but the Thunder have won the last two clashes.
Hobart Hurricanes Squad (13): Matthew Wade (c), Qais Ahmad, George Bailey, Scott Boland, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, James Faulkner, Ben McDermott, David Miller, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose, D'Arcy Short, Mac Wright
Sydney Thunder Squad (13): Callum Ferguson, Liam Bowe, Jonathan Cook, Alex Hales, Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Morris, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Chris Tremain
D’Arcy Short is back and don’t the Hurricanes need him as they try to rally late for a finals position. Short managed 103 not out in his last match against the Scorchers before leaving on international duty. Short averages just under 50 in this years BBL and has been in fine form all season. He has one hundred and two fifties in just the six matches he has played in BBL09 in which he has amassed 248 runs.
Short comes back into a Hurricanes side where runs have started to come without him in their last few games which will be a slight relief for their talisman. In a match between these two sides last year at Blundstone Arena, Short made 58 off 39 before being run out and will aim to reproduce something similar here. Short will look to come back in style here and put up another big score.
While Alex Hales looks to have found his feet in this years BBL after a slow start the opposite can be said about Usman Khawaja who has had a dip in form. Khawaja has been dismissed for 11, 13 and 0 in his last three trips to the crease and has looked to struggle to get away any sort of early runs. His strike rate has not reached 100 in any of those matches and it looks like he is down on confidence.
The last time these two teams met he managed 35 off 29 balls but with his current plateau in form chances are he could be in for another short innings here. The 25.5 runs on offer looks a bit high for a player averaging just over 22 which was also boosted by two early season half centuries.
The inclusion of Short and Faulkner cannot be understated. Matt Wade, George Bailey, Ben McDermott and Mac Wright who scored 70 off 50 in their last match, look to be in good form and that bodes well for the Hurricanes. The Thunder on the other hand are struggling to put together decent scores, only scoring 160 or above in one of their last five matches that weren’t weather reduced. Compare this to the Hurricanes who have scored over 160 in five of their last seven and there is a big discrepancy. The Hurricanes have scored 176 and 190 in their last two which is without their talisman Short and add him back to the mix, at home and in a must win game and it is hard to see the Thunder making enough runs to beat the Hurricanes in Hobart.
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