Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes 7/161 (20 Overs) @ Adelaide Oval
Short Falls To Spin Again
I have been calling for the Strikers to get Travis Head involved in the game a bit more with the ball, and he made the early breakthrough here. D'Arcy Short has been far more prolific against the quicker bowlers, and the Strikers found a good match up here with Head opening the bowling to Short. Despite taking him over mid on once, Short fell the same way trying an ungainly premeditated sweep shot against the spin towards the shorter square boundary. The advantage players like Short have coming into BBL6 is teams don't have a lot of intel on their strengths and weaknesses. Now, more then halfway through the BBL, there is enough evidence there to suggest Short is far less destructive and not as comfortable against slower bowling. Now the ball is back in Short's court to improve his play against spin. There is no hiding for players once you have had a few outings. Everyone can quickly analyse some of your strengths and weaknesses. The good thing is, Short will work for hours and hours on the training paddock on different areas and shots to alleviate the pressure against spin.
Big Billy Stanlake Keeps On Firing
Billy Stanlake continues to cause mayhem in opposition top orders in what is becoming a real breakthrough season for him. Stanlake had struggling Hurricanes import Kumar Sangakkara out hooking, before a searing yorker trapped Dan Christian plumb in front. While it's that sort of delivery, as well as a few snorting bouncers, that might make the highlight reel, even more impressive is Stanlake's control and ability to swing the ball at good pace. With the Australian Test side in India at the same time the Australian T20 side takes on Pakistan, don't be surprised to see Stanlake make his debut. As I have said earlier, you can't coach pace, and Stanlake has serious wheels that can hurry up batsmen even at the highest level. The Strikers looked to be short of a strike bowler when spearhead Kane Richardson was ruled out for the entire BBL6 after just two games, however Stanlake has given their attack the enforcer they required to compete. STanlkae did get a bit carried away with the short ball in his final 3 overs and got a bit predictable which saw his figures blow out however the raw potential is most certainly there.
Hurricanes Rue Costly Start
I would love to say it was exceptional bowling from the Strikers that saw Hobart slump to 5/30 in the Power Play in a chaotic start to their innings at Adelaide Oval. However, most of their dismissals were pretty soft in what was a must win game for the Hurricanes. The Top 5 batsmen were bailed out here by an outstanding partnership between Jonathan Wells and Beau Webster which gave the Hurricanes a really fighting total of 8/161 . D'Arcy Short, Tim Paine, Kumar Sangakkara and George Bailey were all guilty of holing out to catches from fairly average deliveries. The fact that Wells and Webster looked so comfortable probably means the Hurricanes really could have scored anything tonight with a decent platform. Instead it was the relatively unfashionable pair of Wells and Webster that dug Hobart out of a huge hole and given them a decent total to defend. Beau Webster played a really outstanding innings from number 7 scoring 67 not out from 43 balls to rescue what looked like a lost cause.
Jonathan Wells Looks A Good Player, So What Is Missing?
Most times I watch Jonathan Wells bat, he looks like a pretty serious batsman. The pocket rocket Tasmanian has an excellent pull shot, can manipulate the ball into different areas, and has fast hands and feet. Usually when you're looking for players of high calibre, you're looking for guys that are not just front foot bullies. Wells pulled a couple of balls with real authority and was the only player to look comfortable against the searing pace and bounce of Billy Stanlake. Whilst Wells has a pretty good T20 record, averaging 28 from 46 games at a strike rate 120, I'm surprised about his modest First Class and List A record. Wells averages just 24 from 41 First Class games, and whilst I don't see him bat in the 4-day stuff, the eye test tells you he is a better player than that. With a lot of batsman it's more mental than anything. I think at that level at least 50% of batting is mental, in terms of your temperament and self belief, and how you deal with setbacks and cope with pressure when batting.
Lurker Looking To Avoid Third Straight Loss
The Lurker is looking to get himself out of a mini-crisis with a victory for the Strikers tonight. The Lurker has made a shocking start to life in 2017 after going 10 from 11 in 2016. The Lurker would be pretty worried here with the Hurricanes making a huge fightback with the bat to post a competitive 7/161. Can Travis Head get 25+ into a Strikers win to get The Lurker dabbing again or will be slump to a 3rd straight loss?