Ben McDermott smashed 110 not-outs from just 60 balls in a chase of 176 as the revived Hobart Hurricanes recorded consecutive wins
Hobart hurricanes 3 for 176 (McDermott 110 *, Short 37, Garton 1-30, Rashid 1-30) beat Adelaide Strikers 5 for 175 (Renshaw 63, Weatherald 41, Meredith 3-37) with 7 wickets
The newly promoted opener, who had started the season slowly as No. 4, thwarted the Strikers ‘star-spinning tandem of Rashid Khan and Fawad Ahmed to lead the Hurricanes’ overhaul of the 176 goal with nine balls left.
McDermott enjoys his new role
McDermott’s recent elevation to partner Matthew Wade has been a masterful blow for the Hurricanes. He took the air in the powerplay to get the Hurricanes going fast, even though they lost Wade for only six.
Short is starting to like No. 3 as he slowly regains his best form underlined by smashing a pull shot up off the ground. Just as the pair took control, Short fell to an excellent yorker from Perter Siddle, though the batter felt offended by the lbw decision.
McDermott, however, remained undisturbed and continued to play with Fawad as he again crushed the spinner to his sweet spot in the ground. The 16th over emerged as defining, with Rashid bowling his last over, but McDermott continued his happy path with a six, even though the Afghan star took Harry Brooks’ wicket.
McDermott never gave the Strikers a sniff, and he effectively closed out the game when he struck three boundaries from Siddle in the 18th over. He then reached a deserved century with a six in the penultimate over when he became the first player with two centuries in BBL chases.
Wounded Strikers has no answer
The attackers had to knock it out as the fast Siddle and Wes Agar both injured their fingers while bowling. When Fawad was annulled by McDermott, the burden fell on Rashid, who also could not weave his magic against the hoarse dough.
Attackers have a strong bowling attack, although they will sweat over the fitness of Agar, who got a staggered finger, and the tireless Siddle, who throughout was sad after dropping a difficult return chance from Short.
With teams cautious against Rashid, the Strikers need other bowlers to go up, otherwise their season will quickly become a lost cause.
Meredith is the Hurricanes’ bowling talisman
The Hurricanes did a useful job of limiting Striker’s batteries on a track. Their attack has looked far more potent with the inclusion of speedster Riley Meredith.
After returning from a hamstring injury and only bowling one over in his season debut against the Perth Scorchers, Meredith took three wickets in the Hurricanes’ win over the Melbourne Stars and backed it up with yet another trio of scalps against the Strikers.
The 25-year-old, who has played five T20Is for Australia this year, played with trademark fire but mixed things up well by taking the pace off the ball – an ability he has sharpened this season.
In the midst of a powerful attack, Meredith emerges as the talisman as he proved with Jake Weatheralds and Matthew Renshaw’s key scalps in a momentum-shifting 15th over.
He was at times stubborn and predictable, but Meredith’s influence has already been pronounced.
Renshaw and Weatherald provide silver linings
The strikers are in a rut, but Weatherald’s return to form and Renshaw’s warfare, which had looked uniform in his previous two matches, are desperately needed tonics.
Renshaw mixed orthodox shots with ingenuity in the most commanding battle of a Strikers dough this season. His fluent abilities seemed to trigger Weatherald, who had only mustered 53 runs from his previous five innings. The pair combined for a century stand as the Strikers laid their best platform for the season until their departure sparked fears of another collapse.
But impressive young Thomas Kelly continued his breakout season with an 18-ball 28 as the Strikers conjured up their highest total of the season, though in the end it proved inadequate.
Attackers appear to be lacking firepower, underlined by hitting a six at the small Blundstone Arena, and they are running out of time to revive their season.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth and writes about sports for Guardian and mailer report