Hobart Hurricanes 5 for 84 (Kallis 2-18) beat Sydney Thunder 7 for 77 (Reed 4-11) by five wickets (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A poor batting performance from Sydney Thunder saw them consigned to a heavy five-wicket defeat at the hands of the Hobart Hurricanes in the first BBL match at Spotless Stadium.
The win elevated Hurricanes into top four in the table and put their knock-out qualification hopes in their own hands with two matches remaining. Thunder meanwhile will now rely on other results going their way if they are to qualify. Their misery was compounded by an injury to captain Mike Hussey who didn't take the field after suffering a calf injury when running between the wickets, making him a doubtful starter for next match.
The combination of a two-paced pitch, excellent bowling and some poor batting helped Hurricanes restrict Thunder to 7 for 77 in 17 overs. The target was adjusted to 82 following mid-innings rain. Hurricanes chased relatively comfortably with 5 wickets in hand and 3.2 overs to spare.
Jake Reed was the standout bowler for Hurricanes, who elected to bowl, taking 4 for 11 in four overs, while Ben Hilfenhaus, Tim Bresnan an Evan Gulbis collected one wicket each. Only two Thunder batsmen, Mark Cosgrove and Daniel Hughes, reached double figures.
Sydney Thunder's new signing Jason Roy fell for just four in the first over of the match, striking Reed hard and flat into the hands of mid-off. Both Jacques Kallis and Aiden Blizzard also fell before the end of the Powerplay, off which the Thunder scored just 19 runs; their worst of the season so far. Things got worse for Thunder when Hussey fell in the ninth over, leaving them reeling at 4 for 27. Thunder never recovered from a terrible start.
Hussey's departure brought Cosgrove, who was playing his first match of his second stint for Thunder, and Hughes together. Both batsmen struggled for fluency and added just 48 in 7.4 overs, but they at least managed to preserve their wickets. Cosgrove battled hard for 22 off 36 deliveries while Hughes was a little more successful with 26 off 22.
Rain interrupted proceedings in the 15th over and after a delay of 25 minutes. After the match was reduced to 17 overs-a-side, Thunder lost three wickets for the addition of 18 runs, closing on 7 for 77. Hurricanes bowled 52 dot balls in an innings just 102 balls long and conceded only five boundaries. Bowling tight lines, the bowlers didn't give Thunder batsmen room to free their hands.
Although the pitch wasn't conducive to fluent batting, Hurricanes profited by batting second. Knowing how fast they had to score and what they had to chase allowed them to pace their innings appropriately.
An opening partnership of 30, ended by Gurinder Sandhu finding Ben Dunk's edge, got Hurricanes chase off to a strong start. Although, when Jonathan Wells was bowled by a searing yorker from Pat Cummins for nought just balls later some intrigue was added to the match with Hurricanes still requiring 48 on a difficult pitch.
However, a calm partnership between opener Michael Hill and Shoaib Malik, carried the Hurricanes into the sixties, and even when Hill, Malik and then new man Gulbis fell within 19 balls, Hobart were too deep into the chase to fall short.
Freddie Wilde is a freelance T20 journalist. @fwildecricket