The Hobart Hurricanes joined Kings XI Punjab as the second team from Group B to qualify for the semi-finals of the Oppo CLT20 2014 after they defeated the Barbados Tridents by six wickets at the Punjab Cricket Association in Mohali. Despite dismissing their opponents to a mere 113, it wasn’t smooth sailing for the Hurricanes batsmen as they struggled on the slow-paced track and needed the experience and calmness of Shoaib Malik to take them home. The Hurricanes got past the finish line with ten balls to spare, losing four wickets in the run-chase. (Also Read: QUICK STATS: M16 - HOBART HURRICANES V BARBADOS TRIDENTS)
The Hurricanes chase began on a disastrous note when in the very first over the explosive Ben Dunk drove one from Kyle Mayers to be caught at short mid-off. Skipper Tim Paine and Aiden Blizzard steadied the innings through a 31-run partnership; the pair were separated at the start of the seventh over when the latter picked out short thirdman.
Shoaib Malik, having played the bulk of his cricket on sub-continent pitches, judged the pitch well and looked very much at ease, showed maturity and understanding of the situation, and did what was expected of him. Despite losing a well-set Paine in the tenth over and Travis Birt in the thirteenth, Malik (39 from 35 balls) soldiered on to see his team past the finish line. He found an able ally in Jonathan Wells, who hit a four and a six in his 17-ball 23, as the fifth wicket pair added 46 runs in 5.5 overs.
The Barbados Tridents bowlers were difficult to get away when they hit the right areas. If only they had not bowled six wide deliveries and one no ball, and had the backing of their fielders – who dropped three catches – the result could have been entirely different. Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein finished the most successful bowler for the Caribbean side with figures of 2 for 25. Dilshan Munaweera and Mayers were the other wicket-takers.
The Tridents, after two gutting defeats, desperately needed a win in this match to keep their hopes of making it to the semi-final. However, it was a disappointing show from the Caribbean outfit as their batsmen struggled to come to terms with the pitch and showed no application.
Barring Jonathan Carter – who followed up his century against Cape Cobras on Friday with a 34-ball 42, none of the other batsmen were inclined to bide their time. In an attempt to force the pace, most of the Tridents batsmen attempted to play aerial shots, only to see the ball land up in the hands of the Hurricanes fielders; six of the top seven batsmen were dismissed ‘caught’.
Not one Tridents pair batted for more than 4.2 overs; the 4th wicket partnership between James Franklin and Carter contributed 22 runs – just as many as the 5th wicket association between Jason Holder and Carter yielded.
The Tridents innings had seven overs in which the team scored three runs or fewer in the over. On a pitch where stroke-making wasn’t easy – especially given the disciplined bowling from the Hobart Hurricanes bowlers, the Tridents were bowled out for 113 in the final over, with two deliveries remaining to be bowled.
Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger were impressive with the new ball and picked up two wickets each. Xavier Doherty, bowled at the right pace to extract whatever assistance there was from the pitch, to pick up four wickets – his second-best returns in his T20 career.
Hobart Hurricanes win by 6 wickets
Brief Scores: Barbados Tridents 113 in 19.4 Overs (Jonathan Carter 42, Ben Hilfenhaus 2-14, Doug Bollinger 2-27, Xavier Doherty 4-27) lost to Hobart Hurricanes 117-4 in 18.2 Overs (Shoaib Malik 39*, Akeal Hosein 2-25)
Man of the Match: Xavier Doherty, for his bowling figures of 4-0-27-4.
Paine: "Very happy to be qualified. We haven't got off to the stars we have wanted to this tournament. We have a fantastic bowling attack, Doug, Hilf and X were sensational."
Emrit: "Couldn't fault the guys in the field but we didn't have enough runs on the board"