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|Jofra Chioke Archer||4.0||0||34||0||8.50|
Hobart Hurricanes continued to maintain their supremacy in the ongoing Big Bash League with a record-breaking 10-wicket win over Adelaide Strikers. They now have 16 points with a superb net run rate of 0.833 and their qualification for the semifinals appears to be certain, unless they play really bad from here onwards. The next best team on the points table, Sydney Sixers, are six points away from them and will be looking to bridge the gap when the two teams meet on 23rd January at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney. Although the Sixers are placed at the second position in the points table, they haven't even been close to having the kind of dominance Hurricanes have had in the competition. However, a win over Hurricanes will at least prove their prowess and that is what they'll be aiming for in the upcoming fixture.
Just like Hobart Hurricanes, the Sixers are coming off an imposing win, against Brisbane Heat, wherein they smashed the men in blue by a massive margin of 79 runs. Their win kept Brisbane Heat rooted to the seventh spot in the points table whereas they themselves moved to the second spot behind the team they're set to face up next.
On a surface that appeared a bit sluggish, the Sixers got off to a reasonable start and found themselves at 42 for 2 after the end of the powerplay. It was just about the time James Vince and Moises Henriques needed to kick on, but Moises Henriques wicket arrested Sixers' momentum. That, however, proved to be a blessing in disguise as Jordan Silk together with James Vince played some beautiful looking shots as the duo set their feet on the pedal. Vince had luck on his side and was dropped on a couple of times. He utilized the opportunity and scored 45-ball 75 which helped Sixers get past the 170-run mark.
Steve O'Keefe has arguably been the best bowler for the Sixers and didn't disappoint against Brisbane Heat as well. He got rid of Max Bryant in the opening over and gave away only two in his next. Ben Dwarshius, too, was exceptional at the other end and kept it extremely tight as the asking rate kept on creeping up. The introduction of Sean Abbott into the attack brought about the key wicket of Chris Lynn after which Heat could not gather any momentum. Curran Abbott and Pope combined to pick up eight wickets between them as the Heat were dismantled for a total of 98.
Josh Philippe, Daniel Hughes, J Vince, Moises Henriques, Jordan Silk, Tom Curran, Sean Abbott, B Dwarshuis, Steve O'Keefe, Lloyd Pope, Benjamin Manenti.
Quick bowling has played an instrumental role in Hurricanes' success in the tournament thus far with Meredith, Archer, and Faulkner all bowling perfectly to the plans. It was Jofra Archer's turn to step up against Adelaide Strikers and he bowled just like the way he was required to.
Although Jofra Archer picked up just a couple of wickets, of Rashid Khan and Matt Short, it was his accurate and disciplined spell which resulted in wickets falling at the other end. James Faulkner returned with the excellent figures of 2 for 24 in his four, conceding one more run that Jofra Archer. Eventually, the Strikers were restricted to 154 which appeared to be a defendable total until the Strikers came across Matthew Wade and D'Arcy Short.
The left-handed opening pair of Matthew Wade and D'Arcy Short have been able to dictate terms in almost every game the Hurricanes have played in this season which is another reason for their success. In their last game, such was their dominance that even the world's best T20 bowler, Rashid Khan, wasn't spared and smashed for plenty. The duo paced their innings brilliantly and sealed the game with more than three overs to spare. Matthew Wade remained not-out at 84 coming in 49 deliveries and D'Arcy Short stood with him right till the end as he scored 73. Although Hurricanes' middle and late order didn't get a chance to bat in this game, it was tested in their last match. George Bailey and James Faulkner were brilliant as they not only rescued them from a difficult situation but also got the two important points.
Matthew Wade, D'Arcy Short, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, GJ Bailey, Simon Milenko, James Faulkner, Jofra Chioke Archer, Johan Botha, Clive Rose, Riley Meredith.
Hobart Hurricanes haven't put a foot wrong in the tournament so far and their statistics in the points table validates that. Sydney Sixers are coming off a splendid victory which would have done their confidence a world of good. They have three of their bowlers featured in the top five wicket takes on the season while Hobart Hurricanes have only James Faulkner in there. However, D'Arcy Short and Matthew Wade are the top two batsmen in the batting chart. The upcoming match could very well be termed as Sydney's bowling against Hobart's batting. However, the Hurricanes have T20 experts in Archer and Faulkner who have been extremely tough to put away. With the kind of form the Hurricanes are in, it will be tough to get past them and they certainly are favorites to win their upcoming fixture against the Sixers.
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