Sunday, September 28, 2014
Start time 1600 local (1030 GMT)
After a middling loss to Kings XI Punjab, two successive wins have taken Hobart Hurricanes closer to a knock-out spot. The wins have also showed contrasting facets of the side. The first win, fashioned by a staggering knock, was followed by a calmer, calculated demolition of Northern Knights that, along with depth in batting and bowling resources, saw Hurricanes use the conditions intelligently.
That nous will be needed when they take on Barbados Tridents in their last league match on Sunday. A win will put them in the semi-final but a loss would leave them dependent on other results. It will also boost Tridents chances of a semi-final place as the CPL 2014 champions have one extra league game than the other four teams and victories in their last two games would bring Tridents to eight points, leaving the last semi-final spot dependent on net run rate.
Unlike Hyderabad [Hurricanes' last venue], dew is unlikely to play a big factor given the start time of the match and the pitch has offered some support to the spinners. In their few games so far, Hurricanes have appeared to struggle against slower pace and they could be challenged by Tridents' bowlers like Jeevan Mendis and Ashley Nurse. In fact, the Tridents spin attack in the last two games has largely held the bowling together, even as the seamers have struggled and it will be crucial for them to keep up the performance, even in the absence of Mendis, who has returned to play for Sri Lanka in the Asian Games. The scores of 170+ belie the fact that the Tridents batting has been propped by individual performances instead of collective ones, a shortcoming they need to address urgently.
Barbados Tridents LLWWW (completed matches only, most recent first)
Hobart Hurricanes WWLLW
The performances of their spin bowlers has been one of the positives for Tridents in an otherwise shaky campaign. Jeevan Mendis has been at the forefront of the spin attack, with six wickets in two games so far at a neat 5.62. However, with the spinner leaving for his Sri Lanka commitments, the Tridents seamers will need to step up their games.
Before the match against Northern Knights, Shoaib Malik had scored 97 runs in 11 games for Hobart Hurricanes at a strike rate of 103.19. Against Knights, Malik was the driving force of the 100-run stand with Blizzard and showed deft footwork during his innings. His return to form is important for Hurricanes as they look for stability in their middle order.
"We have got a few of us who have played for CSK before and we have little bit of experience in these conditions. We do our best to make sure we pass it on to everyone else."
Ben Hilfenhaus shares how local knowledge has been helping Hurricanes settle in the Champions league