Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Thunder
Friday January 1st, 7pm
Friday night sees the Hobart Hurricanes host the unbeaten Sydney Thunder at Bellerive Oval.
After a comprehensive loss to the Sydney Sixers in their opening clash, the Hurricanes have won two on the trot, albeit both against cellar-dwellers Brisbane Heat. Both of those wins were set up by their powerful batting unit amassing totals of 3/184 and 4/194 and whilst the Heat gave each total a decent shake, they ultimately fell 20 and 15 runs short respectively. Hobart’s bowling attack was bolstered by the return of paceman Jake Reed who claimed three wickets in the most recent match against Brisbane.
The Thunder are riding high after winning their opening three matches, most recently accounting for the Adelaide Strikers in a convincing performance at Spotless Stadium. The Thunder’s success has been built on their varied and expansive bowling attack with all but two of their frontline bowlers conceding less than seven runs an over in the competition so far. However they will be hoping for a greater contribution with the bat from star recruit Shane Watson who has managed scores of just 16, 1 and 13.
The only game at Bellerive in this year’s tournament saw plenty of runs scored which follows the same pattern as last season where the average first innings score was 167. The Hurricanes home pitch hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for West Indian all-rounder Darren Sammy who has conceded 11.57 runs an over with the ball and only had limited opportunities with the bat.
Hobart’s top-order pair of Ben Dunk and Tim Paine are fairly established, however their opening partnership consistently ends in the same fashion – hitting the ball in the air to a fielder. The first dismissal for the Hurricanes has been caught in two out of their three opening games, and going back to the start of last season, in eight of the last 11. Therefore look to back the home side’s first dismissal to be caught at 1.55 or bigger.