Hobart Hurricanes 3 for 189 (Short 97, McDermott 49) beat Sydney Thunder 8 for 180 (Buttler 81, Boyce 2-14) by nine runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Hobart Hurricanes put themselves on the map in the seventh edition of the Big Bash League by outpointing Sydney Thunder at the Showgrounds for their first win of the competition. For this, they were largely indebted to D'Arcy Short for an innings that was both aggressive and spinal, tallying 97 with excellent support from Ben McDermott.
Jos Buttler's response featured arguably the cleanest hitting of the tournament to date, but he was unable to summon sufficient support. Cameron Boyce was exceptional in a spell that claimed the key wicket of Shane Watson, before Tymal Mills responded to an early pasting from Buttler by making clever use of slower balls to concede just six runs from the 18th over and also take the wicket of Ryan Gibson.
The long and the Short of it
In two appearances prior to New Year's Day, Short had hinted at something special but been unable to transcend the general downward trend of the Hurricanes. This time around, he was quickly into stride, and was much the more dangerous of Hurricanes' two openers before Alex Doolan fell to Gurinder Sandhu. That wicket actually served to enhance the Hurricanes' momentum, as Matthew Wade rotated the strike handily to allow Short to keep building.
Their partnership provided a platform from which Short and Ben McDermott could launch, as they hammered 104 in 8.2 overs. They took a particular toll on the spin of Arjun Nair, and clattered no fewer than four sixes from the bowling of the one-paced Sandhu.
Short's innings was the first to pass 50 for the Hurricanes in this tournament, but he would fall short of three figures - a somewhat tired-looking flick at a leg-stump delivery - the penultimate of the innings - from Watson sailed into the hands of Chris Green, who had also been the most economical of the Thunder bowlers.
Doolan sent spinning
Green and Fawad Ahmed shared the new ball for the Thunder, and their teasing turners served to stymie Doolan by offering him very little pace to use. A tally of five from 11 balls for one of the sweetest ball-strikers in Australian cricket was testament to how he had struggled to adapt to the transition from spin to pace, as Green and Fawad chalked up 16 dot balls between them while conceding only one six and three other boundaries.
The Thunder, however, were unable to make the most of that early tightness, as Nair was particularly expensive. Chancing some flight in his first over, he was hoisted high and long for six over long-off by Wade. Next over, Nair's overcorrection resulted in a six and four to Short from flat, short deliveries.
The dropped catch that took a wicket
The Thunder's pursuit began usefully as Buttler took a particular liking to Tymal Mills, ramping and driving his fellow Englishman with something resembling impunity. However, Short was to figure in the contest once again when his left-arm wrist spin was introduced for the eighth over of the chase.
It took only one ball for Short to make an impact, though in a moment of more luck than design. A full delivery had Buttler jamming it straight back down the pitch, and the return chance burst through Short's fingers. But before Short had the chance to lament missing a catch, the rebound flew into the stumps at the non-striker's end, with Kurtis Patterson comfortably out of his ground. It was Short's only over of the innings, but enough to catch the eye of Shane Warne, who took to Twitter to describe the West Australian player as "very impressive".
Buttler versus Hobart
Watson supported Buttler ably through the middle of the pursuit, with the sometimes England wicketkeeper offering a chance to long-on that was spurned by Jofra Archer. But just as it appeared that the Thunder were reeling in the target, Watson was unable to get the desired elevation to a strike down the ground off the bowling of a very tidy Boyce. His exit opened up a series of wickets to the Hurricanes that left the match very much on Buttler's bat.
Thirty-six were required from the final three overs, and the expensive Mills' return to the attack offered up a chance for Buttler to close the gap. However, Mills showed evidence of thinking after his first three overs, electing to concentrate almost solely on slower balls to deprive Buttler and Ryan Gibson their desired pace on the ball. His third delivery was a quicker one across Gibson, before Mills followed up with a perfectly-pitched dipping slower ball that snuck under the bat and into the stumps.
Buttler was thus left with 30 to get off the final two overs, and was unable to make up ground, thrown out (and sent off) by Matthew Wade from behind the stumps when trying to pinch a bye. In the end, the difference perhaps was that Buttler batted through all but five balls of the innings but was only able to face 43 of them - in contrast to Short's 63.