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Not many would have though that the Hobart Hurricanes would end up qualifying for the playoffs. Not only were they placed in the bottom-two positions on the ladder, they needed luck to go their way as well. They showed spectaculuar exhibition of grit and determination to qualify for the playoffs and here they are facing Sydney Thunder in the first eliminator of the tournament. With some on and off performances, Sydney Thunder, too, somehow managed to edge past Perth Scorchers and qualify for the playoffs. The first eliminator of the tournament is to be played between Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, on 30th January.
The Hurricanes couldn't have wished for a better way to storm into the playoffs of the Big Bash League. Thanks to a scintillating ton my their skipper, Matthew Wade, Hobart Hurricanes got past Adelaide Strikers in a high-scoring encounter, wherein more than 400 runs were scored in total.
Batting first on a beauty of a wicket, the Hurricanes didn't even give an inch to the Strikers as D'Arcy Short and Matthew Wade added 203-runs for the opening wicket. Although Adelaide Strikers fought hard to keep Hurricanes at bay, the experience of James Faulkner came to Hurricanes' rescue as the Hurricanes held their nerve to defend 27 runs off the final two overs.
Right before D'Arcy Short returned to the Hurricanes lineup, Mac Wright and Matthew Wade found gold, as far as far form is concerned. Wright had to shift a spot down, but with the likes of Short, Wade, Wright, Miller, McDermott, and Bailey in top-form, their batting lineup looked superb and it produced superb results as well.
Going into the first eliminator, the Hurricanes would be pretty happy with the way things have gone for them in the recent matches. Their batting has done exceedingly well and bowling has complemented their batting to perfection. With almost everyone contributing, the Hurricanes appear to be peaking just at the right moment and things are not going to be easy for the not just the Thunder, but also all other teams in the tournament.
D'Arcy Short, Matthew Wade, Mac Wright, Ben McDermott, GJ Bailey, Simon Milenko, James Faulkner, Clive Rose, Nathan Ellis, Qais Ahmad, Scott Boland.
Sydney Thunder have had one of the most bizarre kind of tournament. They were spectacular in the beginning, but slowly and steadily drifted towards the bottom of the table. A couple of superb wins at the back-end of the tournament brought them closer to the playoffs, but they needed to rely on the defeat of Brisbane Heat to qualify, and Brisbane Heat oblidged.
Sydney Thunder finished fourth on the points table with 13 points to their name. They knocked Perth Scorchers out in their last league game as they chased down a total of 99 in 11.4 overs on Duckworth Lewis method. Before that encounter, however, Sydney Thunder suffered a massive defeat at the hands of Hobart Hurricanes and the Thunder would like to avenge that defeat in the first eliminator.
Thunder haven't been in particularly good form. They have put up a performance that has been average at best, but will be looking to buckle up and play to their potential in the business end of the tournament. With the likes of Alex Hales, Calum Ferguson, and Usman Khawaja available at the top of the order, followed by Chris Morris and Alex Ross, the Thunder have a decent batting unit.
The likes of Daniel Sams, Chris Morris, Chris Tremain, and Gurinder Sandhu have done exceedingly well with the ball for them in the tournament. Having said that, their batting as well as their bowling both have lacked consistency. If they can play to their potential, they can be a threat to deal with. Considering how consistent they have been so far, however, they'd need to play out of their skins in their remaining matches.
Callum Ferguson, Jonathan Cook, Brendan Doggett, AD Hales, Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Chris Morris, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, CP Tremain.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the upcoming contest between Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder
The first eliminator of the tournament is being played between the two sides who many wouldn't have expected to qualify. Hobart Hurricanes stormed into the playoffs on the back of some terrific batting performances in their last three matches whereas a bit of luck helped Sydney Thunder sneak into the playoffs. Both the sides have some exciting young players at their disposal, but experience is what is going to separate the two sides in this high-profile encounter. Considering the two teams on paper, Hobart Hurricanes appear to be slightly ahead. They are coming on the back of some superb performances, including a win over Thunder, and will be more confident of the two teams. Therefore, we think that betting on Hobart Hurricanes' win would be the way to go in the first eliminator of Big Bash League - 2019.
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