Hobart Hurricanes 188 for 8 (Wade 86, Short 72, Abbott 2-32) beat Sydney Sixers 181 for 8 (Silk 78, Henriques 43, Ellis 3-36) by seven runs
A 145-run opening stand between Matthew Wade and D'Arcy Short, the highest of this year's Big Bash League, laid a sturdy foundation for the Hobart Hurricanes in a seven-run win over the Sydney Sixers, keeping the Hurricanes' hopes alive of reaching the finals stage. Both made half-centuries in what ended as the joint 12th-best stand in BBL history, leading to a total that was too much for the Sixers to overhaul.
The Hurricanes were in control with the ball for the majority of their defense as well, as entering the final over, the Sixers needed 28 to win. Riley Meredith bowled two waist-high full tosses for no-balls, the second of which went for six, thus reducing the equation from an improbable 28 off six balls down to 15 off four. But the Sixers' last hope was snuffed out two balls later when Jordan Silk heaved a length delivery to Short on the rope at deep midwicket for 78.
The Hurricanes are in control of their own destiny for a place in the playoffs, needing a win over the last-place Melbourne Renegades in the regular season finale to keep their season going. Whereas despite the loss, the Sixers only need a bonus point from their final match against the Melbourne Stars to secure their place in the top two, guaranteeing them two shots to make the tournament final.
Wade and Short go long
The roaring stand had got off to a quiet start as the Hurricanes' opening pair only managed four runs off the first 11 deliveries of the match. But a strike over mid-on by Short off Ben Dwarshuis got the ball rolling and spurred Wade to attack Carlos Brathwaite for three more boundaries in the third over, working his way across from midwicket to mid-off before capping the sequence slicing over point. Short then punched two more boundaries through the off side against Jake Ball in the fourth over to keep the momentum flowing, as they ended the powerplay at 33 without loss.
The spinners fared no better as Short seized on the introduction of Ben Manenti in the fifth, heaving his second ball over midwicket for six before tonking him straight for another after he switched ends for the eighth over. Wade got to his half-century first off 28 balls, flicking a short ball angled down the leg side for a boundary off Ball to start the 11th, as the century stand was brought up with a single two balls later. The pair called for the Power Surge to begin the 12th as Short surged past 50 off 36 balls in the process, smacking a full toss from Dwarshuis back over his head for six during a 19-run over.
The partnership finally came to an end three overs later, as Wade's license for risk-taking with all ten wickets in hand finally brought about his downfall while ramping Sean Abbott to short third man. Abbott claimed Short as well a few overs later with a well-directed yorker. With the set pair finally gone, the Sixers continued to gain confidence through disciplined death bowling from Ball and Dwarshuis, as five wickets fell off the last 12 balls to give a brief lift to the Sixers while heading into the break.
Short nearly goes from hero to villain
The Sixers suffered an unlucky setback early in the chase when Josh Philippe was given out lbw on a delivery which ball-tracking showed was heading past leg stump. James Vince and Daniel Hughes fell soon after to make it 37 for 3, which could have been even worse had Short held onto a straightforward chance at short midwicket for what would have been Scott Boland's third wicket in the powerplay. The Sixers meandered through the next several overs as the required run rate reached 11, but captain Moises Henriques jolted the Sixers back to life while taking on Short's left-arm spin. Consecutive sweeps sailed over the leg side for six and four during a 14-run over, but even bigger damage followed.
Henriques flicked Meredith over long-on for six, who created a chance next ball as Henriques mistimed a length ball that fluttered gently towards Short at midwicket. For the second time in the innings, Short spilled Henriques on a painfully simple chance only for the former to rub salt into the wound by smashing Meredith behind square for six off the next delivery he faced in what ended as an 18-run over.
Sandeep Lamichanne to the rescue
Nepal legspinner Lamichhane had conceded 13 runs off his first two overs and began his third by leaking a boundary to Silk through wide long-on. But by the end of it, he had inflicted severe damage. Henriques looked like he was going to clear the ropes again when Lamichhane sent down a half-tracker on the fourth ball, which he pulled too fine to pick out Ellis at deep backward square. Silk's inability to cross strike with the ball in the air meant Dan Christian entered and was straightaway exposed by a googly that ripped past his forward prod to put Lamichhane on a hat-trick at 107 for 5.
Whereas Wade and Short blitzed the Sixers in the Power Surge, the Sixers stumbled immediately when trying to utilize it for a rebuild, as Brathwaite chipped Ellis to extra cover at the start of the 15th over. Silk lacked the support to be able to meaningfully attack down the stretch even as he passed 50 off 35 balls. He survived a drop on 58 at fine leg in the penultimate over, but a comeback seemed unlikely until Meredith briefly left the door ajar in the final over with the pair of no-balls. However, Short redeemed himself for the earlier pair of drops by denying Silk a six on the midwicket rope, taking the catch that sealed the match.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna