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Eliminator Match Report: Strikers v Hurricanes

21 January 2022

Adelaide Strikers have booked their place in Sunday night’s BBL Knockout Final courtesy of a timely 22-run triumph at the MCG against Hobart Hurricanes.

With everything on the line in the do-or-die Eliminator, Alex Carey starred as he returned from international duty to partner Matt Short at the top of the order. The duo combined for a stunning 145-run partnership to kick off the night, with Carey crunching 67 from 45 deliveries and Short a truly destructive 89 from 48.

Showing no signs of limited overs rust after his maiden Test series, Carey was dominant from the outset, finding the boundary on eight occasions to take the steam out of a star-studded Hurricanes bowling attack. Short, who could easily lay claim to the Strikers most valuable player of the season, was even more devastating, clearing the rope six times and hitting it four to finish with a strike-rate of 185 in the crucial clash.

Travis Head, made to wait until the 15th over to get a hit, was unable to launch in his tournament debut, and he was not alone as the Strikers middle order found the going tough in the death overs. Thankfully for the Adelaide side, the work of Carey and Short was more than enough to get the job done and keep their season alive as a Peter Siddle led bowling unit got the job done with ball in hand.

Short, reviving his role as opening bowler, took the first wicket of the Hurricanes chase, removing the tournament’s leading run-scorer Ben McDermott in the first over. When Siddle then knocked over the dangerous Matthew Wade, Adelaide was within striking distance of a Finals victory.

Caleb Jewell began the recovery effort for Hobart, but Conway but his innings short on 35 from 31 by finding first his edge and then the gloves of Carey. D’Arcy Short then looked to revive the contest with a flashing blade, plundering 56 from 34 deliveries, but when Henry Thornton removed the dynamic left-hander, the cause seemed lost for the lads in purple.

Utilising his elite pace, Thornton then sent Handscomb packing the next delivery to put a hat trick on the agenda, and while he was unable to complete the feat, the two wickets took the heat out of the chase and had Strikers staff booking accommodation extensions at their Melbourne hotel.

Tim David played an exciting cameo for the Hurricanes in the late overs, but it was too little too late for the southern-most state, with Adelaide Strikers securing a 22-run victory to keep their season alive.

Siddle was again brilliant, claiming another three wickets to retain the Golden Cap, while Conway and Thornton finished with two in addition to Short and Fawad Ahmed’s one.

Sydney Thunder now await the Strikers on Sunday evening in the Knockout, with the winner destined for a matchup against either the Scorchers or Sixers on Wednesday night to battle for a spot in the Grand Final.