The score: Hobart Hurricanes 3-189 (D’Arcy Short 97, Ben McDermott 49 not out; Fawad Ahmed 1-27) defeated Sydney Thunder 8-180 (Jos Buttler 81, Shane Watson 36; Cameron Boyce 2-14)
Match in a tweet: Cane Train gets rolling as Short delivers an outstanding display in the Hurricanes’ nail-biting win over the Thunder #BBL07
The hero: D’Arcy Short fell short of posting the first century of the Big Bash League season, but he showcased his class in a power-packed display. The left-handed opener smacked 97 from 63 balls, his third BBL half-century, belting four sixes and nine boundaries against the Thunder at Spotless Stadium. Short put the home side’s bowlers to the sword, hammering 19 from a Shane Watson over and displaying his full array of shots as the visitors posted 3-189. Short made 198 runs from eight hits in his maiden BBL campaign last summer, with his strike rate of 163.63 marking the 27-year-old as a bright prospect in the shortest format. He’s one to watch.
The support cast: Ben McDermott made headlines when he hammered a 52-ball 114 against the Melbourne Renegades in BBL|06. He didn’t match that feat tonight but showcased his power in a whirlwind 49 from 25 balls that included two sixes and half-a-dozen boundaries. A feature of the 104-run partnership between Short and McDermott – which came from only 50 balls – was their ability to pick the gaps. Leg-spinner Cameron Boyce (2-14) played a key role in slowing the Thunder’s run rate after they made a flying start in the run chase, claiming the key wickets of Shane Watson and Callum Ferguson.
The consolation effort: After a slow start to BBL|07, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler slammed his second consecutive half-century in what was almost a match-winning effort. Buttler’s 81 from 43 balls featured some extraordinary shots (more on that below) as he cleared the boundary rope five times and hammered seven boundaries. The Englishman was eventually run out on the first ball of the last over, with Channel 10 commentator and Australia selector Mark Waugh labelling Buttler’s hand "the innings of the tournament".
The turning point: After powering their way to 1-125 from 14.3 overs and looking likely to complete a magnificent run chase, the Thunder lost 5-31 in 20 balls to lose momentum. While they came close to scoring their third win of the season, their collapse robbed them of the ascendancy despite Buttler’s heroics. The opener presented a straightforward chance to Jofra Archer at long on in the 11th over when the game was in the balance, but luckily for the Hurricanes, they didn’t pay the price for Archer’s error.
The shot: This was special from Sydney Thunder’s English import Jos Buttler. His ramp shot over the fence for six should be replayed over and over…
The aerial skills: Hobart Hurricanes allrounder Dan Christian showed off his aerial skills at Spotless Stadium to prevent a powerful shot from Watson clearing the rope.
The silly point: You couldn’t question this man’s commitment…
The fantasy wrap: Short ($65,400) was the star with a whopping 145 points, while Buttler ($60,400) scored 111 and Boyce ($41,500) 70.
The next stops: Fresh from their first win of BBL|07, the Hurricanes will next tackle the undefeated Adelaide Strikers at Blundstone Arena on Thursday. The Thunder will return to Spotless Stadium to take on the Strikers on Sunday.