There is a fairy tale Team in most Tournaments with the Hobart Hurricanes being the example of Cinderella in this years Big Bash League Semi Finals. Their opponent are the more fancied Sydney Sixers setting up a mouth watering virtual David versus Goliath affair for a chance to face the Perth Scorchers in the Final next Saturday
Duly, lets try to find a winner out of the two
The Hurricanes have had a remarkable run in the Tournament to finish 2nd after the qualifying rounds with most pundits expecting them to be a non entity in the Competition, and then certain their bubble would burst after losing Ben Hilfenhaus to the National Team
Wrong and Wrong on both counts with the Team still finding a way to win.
Highlighting their charge has been their batting King Pins in the import Owais Shah and the remarkable Travis Birt. who with his brutal hitting power is near assured of a call up to the National T20 Team. Some of his efforts have been mind blowing in there powers of destruction.
The biggest issue for the Team is the support of these two in the rest of the batting. Hope is found in Jonathan Wells, who showed promise in the game against the Renegades and Phil Jacques, who has shown potential within the Tournament as well. An ex factor might be found in the precocious talents of Mark Cosgrove, who if it was not for his lapse attitude to the disciplines needed to succeed would be in the Australian Team in some forms of the game
To give the Team the best chance to win, the Hurricanes need a complete performance from their batting for they have had an unhealthy reliance on both Birt and Shah.
Their bowling is lead by Tasmania's 'proudest son' in the Pakistani import Naveed ul Hasan, who has been such a shrewd investment for the franchise with his consistent excellence.
He leads the pace department for the Team with its main strength in its bowling being found in its spinners. Xavier Doherty is an excellent T20 twirler and Jason Krejza his able offsider forming a very threatening spin duo.
The main concern for the team are the back up bowlers with the current choices being Michael Hogan and Ben Laughlin. Both in truth buffet bowlers, that have a few tricks, but any batting worth its salt would rip them both new corn shoots.....
|Old Man River- Stuart MacGill|
The losing of Mitchell Starc to the National team robs the teams of one of its sincere threats.
In his absence the main appeal of the Team revolves around the raft of quality spinners. Lead by old man river Stuart MacGill, the exceptional T20 bowler Steve O'Keefe, and the part timers in Nathan McCullum and Steve Smith.
The spinning spearheads in MacGill and O'Keefe can run through a batting line up like a hot knife through butter with the part timers needing to be respected as well.
As for pace, another Golden Oldie in Brett Lee has been the highlight attraction with him performing admirably throughout and displaying much of his old threat. The only issue with Lee is that he has been belted on occasions too.
The part time medium pacers in Dominic Thornley and Moises Henriques are the support bowlers with both having talent, but also with risk attached to them in terms of getting mauled due to their inconsistency in lines and lengths.
Looking at the batting for the side is rather underwhelming with none standing out for their threat or consistency. The loss of Brad Haddin to the National Team and Dwayne Bravo returning to the Caribbean robbed the Team of their highlight acts.
Meaning the Team will be heavily reliant on their bowling strength to prop up their batting fragility.
Nic Maddinson has looked good on occasion, but he is more suited to the longer forms of the game rather than the bash of T20.
The rest of the batting is very much miss rather than hit...........
It is always tough to pick a winner from a lottery type of the game in T20.
Though I just have a feeling that the Hurricanes are a bit more complete as a Team than the Sixers.
Meaning they will win, and face the Perth Scorchers in the Final next Saturday