Hobart Hurricanes 8/173 (20 Overs) v Brisbane Heat @ Gabba
Steketee Puts the Breaks on Hurricanes
Mark Steketee is proving one of the unlikely heroes so far in a Brisbane Heat attack which is improving with each game. The key to limiting sides with the ball is taking wickets in the Power Play, and he took out both openers in Tim Paine and D'Arcy Short just as they looked like cutting loose. The Heat, coming into BBL6, looked short of pace bowling options, however Steketee has now made key contributions with the ball in all three games. Having started poorly in Adelaide, he held his nerve to bowl a fantastic over before taking a couple of key scalps and bowling economically against the Thunder. Steketee had a poor T20 record from limited appearances coming into this year, going for more than 8.5 an over and averaging less than a wicket per game. Steketee ended with the impressive figures of 2/29 off 4 overs.
Hurricanes Squander Good Form
Often as a coach and as a player I used to get more frustrated with players that got themselves in and got out, rather than a player who had been out for under 10 runs. I reckon Hurricanes coach Damien Wright would cut a frustrated figure tonight when he looks at the scorecard and sees scores of 18, 12,13, 33 and 28 among his top six batsmen. Even though Hobart did well to scramble 173 they left a lot of runs out on the park tonight in ideal batting conditions, with the ball really skidding on to the bat. Any batsman can get out under 10, as that is when they are most vulnerable, trying to assess pitch conditions and bowling speeds, as well as getting their eye in. Even the best batsmen around the world might fail 3 or 4 times out of every 10 innings with single figures scores. That never used to worry me as a player. Those failures don't determine your batting average or where your season will head. The really good players or great players are the ones that when they make a start, they have a ravenous hunger to make it a big one - players that are not happy to get a pretty 25 or 30, but turn it into a big half century or a three figure score. They refuse to get themselves out. Essentially that's how you end up with a good batting average, by turning your promising starts into big innings. Because failures are inevitable and just around the corner.
Christian Top Scores But Falls at Costly Time
Dan Christian top scored for the Hurricanes, however his wicket came at a really costly time. After an excellent 60-run partnership with Jonathan Wells, Christian cut a ball straight to deep point just when he was threatening to cut loose. When previewing the Hurricanes squad, I said Dan Christian is a competitive firebrand that love a scrap. Coming in at 4/62, and with Hobart in early trouble, it's exactly the sort of situation Christian thrives on - back to the wall and with the opposition probably in his ear. Christian only averages 21 in T20 cricket, however that's pretty good for someone who has spent the majority of the time coming in at Number 6 and Number 7 with only a few overs to go. When you're assessing those sorts of late, middle order players strike rate is just as important if not more important then average, and Christian strikes at greater then 130. He is a genuine threat to clear the rope which is another key attribute of the latter, middle order. The Renegades seemed to lack these boundary hitters and enforcers. However, the Hurricanes have one in the experienced Christian. Don't be surprised, now he has got his teeth into this game, if Christian makes a real impact with the ball.
Pietersen and Waugh Commentary Fascinating
The BBL6 coverage from Channel 10 is outstanding and that was highlighted tonight by a fiery back and forth exchange between Kevin Pietersen and Mark Waugh. Pietersen ripped into Mark Waugh about the non-selection of Glenn Maxwell for the Sydney Test, and Australia's controversial resting policy before the South Africans Test Series. It was very interesting viewing when Waugh was forced to squirm and attempt to answer some prickly questions about some of the Australian selections over the last few months. After copping a hammering, Waugh returned a few barbs about the back end of Pietersen's very ugly ending to his International career and Andrew Strauss' role in his demise. Far too often at Channel 9, and in sports commentary in general these days, you get a boys' club that are all matey-matey and telling each other how good their respective careers were. Here there was some genuine feeling in the box, between two guys in Pietersen and Waugh who were not afraid to tell it how it is. Often the guys I find most engaging in the media and in commentary are callers who are not afraid to say exactly what they think, whether that is going to upset someone or not. I happen to 100% agree with Pietersen that Glenn Maxwell at his best is potentially one of the best players in the world, not just in Australia.
Lurker 90 minutes away from 90% Success Rate
When BBL6 kicked off I set The Lurker the very tough challenge of batting at 75% in the win loss stakes. What I told him is that imperative he doesn't drop below 50% and anything over 60% was a decent effort. However sitting at 8 from 9 The Lurker will be very confident of securing another vital tonight on a pitch that looks perfect for the Heats power hitters needing 174 for victory. Also the double of Piersen to score 25+ into a Heat win is alive and kicking.