Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes, BBL 2011-12, Adelaide December 28, 2011

Doherty helps Hurricanes continue winning streak


Hobart Hurricanes 4 for 171 (Birt 44, Shah 36*) beat Adelaide Strikers 8 for 157 (Cooper 43, Doherty 4-17)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The Hobart Hurricanes Twenty20 blueprint, or more accurately purpleprint, has worked again. This time the Adelaide Strikers succumbed to Xavier Doherty's team by 14 runs at the Adelaide Oval in front of more than 27,000 patrons.

The Hurricanes skipper Doherty was again the chief architect of the win, taking 4 for 17 in a match-winning display of spin bowling. His side have now won three from three and sit atop the BBL table. But the identical nature of the three wins is most intriguing, although tonight's victory was their toughest yet.

For the third consecutive match Doherty won the toss and elected to bat. For the third consecutive time the Hurricanes had eight or more wickets in hand with 10 overs to go, having crawled through the first half of their innings at less than seven runs per over.

Yet they were able to post 4 for 171. Again it was Travis Birt who ignited the Hurricanes. In the eleventh over, having faced only two balls after Jonathan Wells fell to Johan Botha at the start of the tenth, Birt launched an assault on Bryce McGain. He clubbed two sixes and one four from the over. McGain had delivered two overs that cost 29.

Only 15 runs came from the next three overs however. McGain was held back while Kane Richardson, Aaron O'Brien, and Alfonso Thomas tied Phil Jaques in knots. McGain exacted some revenge when he ended Jaques' 42-ball stay at the start of the 15th over. Jaques' 41, which included just two boundaries, left onlookers wondering if the Hurricanes tactics had finally come unstuck.

Enter English import Owais Shah. He smashed 36 unbeaten runs from just 18 balls. He and Birt again accelerated the innings at a rapid rate. Birt thumped 44 from 26 including three fours and three sixes. He became Botha's second scalp in the 18th over, but it did not slow the rate. Shah, in combination with Matt Johnston, orchestrated 66 from the last five overs to push the total to 171.

The Strikers bowling group were reasonably impressive. Botha, O'Brien, Thomas and Richardson all conceded eight an over or less. But McGain's four overs cost 49, which meant the Strikers were chasing a testing target. No side had ever chased more than 170 in a T20 in Adelaide.

With the spinners having done well in the Hurricanes' innings, Doherty and Jason Krejza opened the bowling but conceded 19 in the first two overs to Aiden Blizzard. Doherty then put on a masterclass of T20 bowling. He clean bowled Blizzard in the third over before saving his last two overs for the second half of the innings.

In between he mixed and matched his bowlers well. Johnston bowled two overs for just nine. His awkward action, with which he delivers swerving inswingers off the wrong foot, caused significant difficulties for Michael Klinger and Adam Crosthwaite. Krejza returned to dismiss Crosthwaite lbw, while Rana Naved picked up the vital wicket of Callum Ferguson, in the following over, with Rhett Lockyear clutching a sharp chance in the gully.

Doherty brought himself back on in the eleventh over to bowl at the key partnership of Klinger and Cameron Borgas. He struck immediately, forcing a miss-hit from his opposing captain, and only conceded three from the over.

Klinger's dismissal left the Strikers needing 99 from 55 balls. Borgas and Tom Cooper were unperturbed by the absurdity of the task. They ramped balls over the keeper's head, switch-hit boundaries through backward point, and generally caused Hobart headaches in their 62-run partnership. Cooper even hit Rana onto the roof of the Chappell Stands.

But Rana removed Borgas later in the 17th over. Tom Triffitt, the wicketkeeper, held his nerve under the towering skier, something Krejza had failed to do the previous delivery, but the game was still alive with the Strikers needing 37 from 18 balls.

Ben Laughlin delivered the 18th over that cost just nine and saw Botha being run out.

Then Doherty delivered the last rites. He bowled Richardson and O'Brien in consecutive balls to finish with four wickets. After his first over had cost nine, his next three yielded figures of 4 for 8.

Cooper was left stranded on 44 having hit five fours along with his enormous six. The Strikers may well lament that he was only able to face 27 deliveries as their chase went awry. The Strikers have now lost two in succession after thumping the Renegades in their opening match.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alan on December 29, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    Thanks for pointing out by the way how these differences between different formats of the game are so fundamentally important and for explaining why Doherty apparently excels so much in t20 cricket, and is "Australia's premier limited overs slow bowler". It does however seem very strange therefore that Doherty has never played a single twenty20 international for Australia. Perhaps the Australia selectors picked him instead for test matches because they were the ones not "aware" that "Test cricket and the Big Bash League are different formats of cricket".

  • Alan on December 29, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    @ Mr Armstrong: Test cricket and domestic cricket in England (limited overs and first class) are also different formats, but that hasn't stopped some of the past observations from Australian sources to which I am drawing attention. Owais Shah is not "a T20 specialist" but has for long played in all formats of the game in England; hence he was given 6 test matches for England on the back of prolific scoring in the first-class game. As for Xavier Doherty if he is that skilful as a limited overs bowler: a, one would have thought those skills would have manifested himself at some point during his long spell in the Adelaide test last year, and b, what an astonishing piece of ineptitude it was by the Australian selectors not to pick their "premier limited overs slow bowler" in the last world cup ahead some of those who did play and obtained no success.

  • Christopher on December 29, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    What a completely underwhelming and utterly predictable game 20/20 is. When 8-9 runs an over for a bowler and batting averages in the 20s pass for quality,its clear thatT20 panders to the lowest common denominators. Its like traditional cricket with the patience,accountability,concentration,obduracy,physical endurance,courage,tactics,substance and intelligence removed-all the facets that this great sport uses to build the character of its young. I wont be sad when this pretend cricket,made to extract further revenue through pay tv, live phone aps and through fast food sponsorship becomes as redundant to the 'entertain me' generation as it already is to those who appreciate substance over hype and rhetoric.

  • Bryn on December 29, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    AlanHarrison -- surely that was a lame joke you said there? doherty is probably the best limited overs slow bowler in the world right now. shah didnt really do that much anyway and has never been in the england test team hahaha i dont actually know what you are talking about. michael lumb, an england t20 player, told the fox sports commentators that he thinks australia domestic cricket is far better than england leagues and others around the world, faster bowlers, better batsmen etc

  • Dummy4 on December 29, 2011, 2:17 GMT

    Well AlanHarrison due to the farcical nature of 20/20 cricket, a lot of players who wouldn't normally rate a mention manage to earn some big dollars,& good luck to them. This slap & giggle cricket really hasn't taken off here in Australia, and i reckon crowd sizes might be inflated with a few free tickets thrown in. In relation to our current domestic malaise, don't gloat to long & loud because this is the consequence of being too good for too long, and if your team is half as good as we were for an extended period of time, then your return to the dark ages is assured,even though England did copy Australia & develop a cricket academy, & sought Australian coaches, we have obviously dropped the ball in the ongoing development of players, particularly batsmen able to play the swinging ball.They also need to be able to occupy the crease, a talent the English have always possesed, not always to the betterment of cricket as a spectator sport, or the enjoyment of the game for those involved.

  • Dummy4 on December 28, 2011, 23:40 GMT

    Alan - Test cricket and the Big Bash League are different formats of cricket in case you were unaware of this. Shah's a well-established T20 specialist and Doherty is Australia's premier limited overs slow bowler.

  • Arshad on December 28, 2011, 21:19 GMT

    This is indeed quality cricket in Australia..... certainly way better than IPL circus in India!!

  • Ray on December 28, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    Well done Hurricanes despite having Krejza's buffet bowling and Jaques's strange tactics of playing one decent shot through straight midwicket in 44 balls? Well bowled Doherty, Crostwaite should Crosthwaite should shut up and try and bat? Great crowd, luckily some missed the first powerplay!

  • Dummy4 on December 28, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    They are the underdogs but doing it nicely

  • Alan on December 28, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    We quite often hear domestic cricket in England derided from Australian sources, the confident suggestion being that even inferior players can excel there because the standard is so poor. Therefore what are we to make of the evidence here of success being obtained in Australian domestic cricket by players such as Owais Shah, who failed to hold down a position in the England test side, and Xavier Doherty, whose selection during the last Ashes series was such a complete disaster? Perhaps the only thing to be said in mitigation for what this shows about the standard of domestic cricket in Australia is that even in these games Bryce McGain gets tanked all around the ground, just as he did in test cricket.

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