Wickets have been rare in recent outings but the Adelaide Strikers bowlers showed the benefit of consecutive breakthroughs late in the Hobart Hurricanes innings. After another blistering start led by Matthew Wade the Hurricanes were 1/92 at the halfway mark and still in a strong launching position at 2/142 with four overs left. But the dismissal of Ben McDermott, leg-before-wicket to Rashid Khan, sparked the loss of 4/8 in 12 deliveries and limited the scoreboard damage. Another wicket fell on the last ball as the Hurricanes finished on 7/169.
Veteran Ben Laughlin’s 3/31 included the wickets of the BBL’s leading runscorers, D’Arcy Short and Wade, the first time the openers have been dismissed by the same bowler in a BBL game. Short fell in Laughlin’s first over but Wade was dropped twice off his bowling before Laughlin finally trapped him LBW for 86 in the 18th over.
The Strikers had only produced two 50-plus Power Plays this season before Thursday night’s game but this time openers Alex Carey and Jake Weatherald took only 3.2 overs to rocket past 50. After starting with seven runs from the first over, they combined to take 17 from the next over from young off-spinner Jarrod Freeman and then Weatherald smashed 20 off James Faulkner’s second over. Carey wasn’t going to be left behind, also belting 20 runs from the next over sent down by Jofra Archer. They finished the first six overs – when only two fielders can be outside the circle – on 0/84, only three runs behind the BBL Power Play record of 1/87 also scored by the Strikers against the Hurricanes (in BBL|03). It is Carey and Weatherald’s second century opening partnership, after their unforgettable 171-run stand last summer also against the Hurricanes.
Weatherald made two fifties in early January but had scored 4,4,3 and 7 in his four innings before Launceston. But after smashing 82 from 42 balls he is now is the Strikers’ leading runscorer with 318 runs for the campaign, fifth highest in the competition and 13 ahead of his captain Colin Ingram.