Hobart has won two games this tournament and the common thread has been opener Ben Dunk has been a standout in both games. He unleashed on his old home ground, the ‘Gabba, in smashing 67 off 33 balls against Brisbane Heat, but backed that up in the last round when he went within an inch of a maiden T20 ton cracking 96 against Sydney Thunder.
The problem for Hobart has been a lack of contributions from the rest of the batting line-up. Travis Birt is the next highest run-scorer for the Hurricanes, and he hasn’t even reached half of Dunk’s tally for this season. Jonathan Wells’ unbeaten 36 against Heat is the highest score achieved by any batsman other than the in-form left-hander, but the Tassie team will need plenty of contributors on Wednesday night against a Sydney Sixers team that is starting to hit its straps.
If the Sixers had have managed to get over the line in the ‘Super Over’ against Perth last Friday, it would have been three wins on the trot for the men in magenta. Instead, Steve Smith and Moises Henriques were both knocked over by Yasir Arafat for ducks, leaving the Scorchers with the easiest of six-ball chases. It was a disappointing finish for Smith who kept his team in the game with a polished 65 in his first match in a Sixers uniform following his Ashes series heroics.
One player who has suddenly come to life in this competition is ageing quick Brett Lee . Completely outshone by Josh Hazelwood in the early rounds, ‘Binger’ picked up two vital scalps in the thrilling win over Heat, before bagging 4/28 against Perth. The pace pair has 16 of the 27 wickets taken by the Sixers this campaign and knocking over Dunk and the talented Tim Paine with the new ball will be a priority.
Hobart won the corresponding match at the SCG last season by seven wickets, although they left it until the second-last ball to reach Sydney’s total of 154. Ben Laughlin was the star nabbing 4/31 with the ball, and he is the Hurricanes’ leading wicket-taker again this season with seven scalps in five matches. He destroyed Sydney Thunder last start taking 3/8.
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