Paine 87* leads Hurricanes to comfortable win
Hobart Hurricanes 3 for 184 (Paine 87*, Sangakkara 43, Bailey 40) beat Brisbane Heat 8 for 164 (Floros 42, Reardon 41, Rainbird 3-37) by 20 runs
Hobart Hurricanes made amends for an embarrassing BBL opener with a 20-run victory over Brisbane Heat at Blundstone Arena in Hobart. After losing by 95 runs and being steamrolled humiliatingly for 91 against Sydney Sixers just two days earlier, the Hurricanes rebounded with a fine all-round performance against Heat.
After captain Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat on a flat pitch, there was no batting calamity on this occasion with the Hurricanes batting aggressively, yet smartly to notch an imposing 3 for 184. They batted with intent but valued their wickets, with Paine exemplifying this approach by being the mainstay for the Hurricanes throughout. Paine scored an unbeaten 87 from 58 balls, and combined in consecutive half-century partnerships with Kumar Sangakkara and George Bailey.
In their chase, the Heat lost wickets at regular intervals despite the best efforts of allrounder Jason Floros who was promoted to No.3 to counterattack Hurricanes' spin duo of Cameron Boyce and Clive Rose. Floros scored an enterprising 42 from 23 but it was not nearly enough despite some late hitting from Nathan Reardon (41 from 32 balls). Despite teasing on occasions, the Heat fell short at 8 for 164.
Dan Christian thwarted his former side with the key wickets of Lendl Simmons and Peter Forrest, but perhaps most importantly, he spectacularly caught danger man Chris Lynn (1) after the ball lingered high in the air. The juggled catch was one of four catches for Christian in the game.
The Hurricanes bowlers and fielders backed up a disciplined performance by their top order. Openers Paine and Ben Dunk made a circumspect start in a determined bid to ensure a repeat of the calamity in Sydney was not replicated. They played respectfully, and in a fashion that was notably different to the explosive template of T20 cricket with only nine runs scored in the opening two overs. But Paine soon launched and smashed a couple of brutal pull shots that rocketed out of the small ground.
After Dunk was run out by a direct throw side-on from Forrest, Paine combined with Sangakkara to give the Hurricanes the initiative. After his first ball flop in his BBL debut against the Sixers, Sangakkara started cautiously. But it wasn't long before Sangakkara's glorious off-side game flourished, ensuring runs were ticking along briskly without doing anything rash.
Paine and Sangakkara complemented each other perfectly, with the Hurricanes captain's brashness a nice juxtaposition to the stylish Sri Lankan. Just when it seemed he was about to shift gears, Sangakkara fell for a 31-ball 43 holing out off a Ben Cutting length delivery, ending the 77-run partnership off 51 balls.
While his teammates were getting thrashed around, Cutting was the pick of the bowlers with 1 for 32 from his four overs, but his figures were blighted by a 13-run final over.
Bailey, who scored 62 against the Sixers in a lone hand, continued his fine form bashing the Heat attack to all parts. He treated renowned disciplined spinner Samuel Badree with disdain, punctuated by a massive six over long-on after skipping down the track.
Bailey (40 off 21 balls) holed out in the penultimate over but the damage had been done. The defeat ensured the Heat, last year's bottom-placed team, are winless after two matches.