BBL 2019-20 | Hurricanes vs Thunder - Ask Me Anything ft Bailey’s Farewell and High-flying Alex Hales

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BBL 2019-20 | Hurricanes vs Thunder - Ask Me Anything ft Bailey’s Farewell and High-flying Alex Hales

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Anirudh Suresh

01/30/2020

Are you someone who completely missed out on today's BBL action just because you were busy watching Federer-Djokovic? Oh shoot, don't worry. I've got you covered. Here are excerpts from my 'Ask Me Anything' session from today's BBL encounter. It should pretty much clear every single doubt you have.

How did the bat flip go?

Callum Ferguson won the toss and, no prizes for guessing, he elected to bat first. The last time they chased against the Hurricanes in Hobart, it didn’t really go well for them, so you can understand why he did what he did.

I remember Uzzie beasting the knockout games when Thunder won the title in 2015/16, so how did he fare in their first knockout game in over 4 years?

There’s a reason why Uzzie has always been Thunder’s go-to man on big occasions. Two fifties in 14 innings this season till date and Khawaja decides to bring out his very best today, in a do-or-die encounter, blasting a 34-ball 54. Even the Hurricanes skipper Matty Wade, who was mic’d up, expressed his admiration for the Aussie veteran. He oozes class, doesn’t he? 

Oh wow! And what about his partner, did he fail today? Last time I checked, he was in sublime form.

Hah, you really thought Alex Hales was going to fail? If you consider a 37-ball 60 as a failure, then yep, he did. Jokes apart, boy he is in monstrous form. There was, in fact, a shot he hit that struck the FREAKING ROOF!  A 112-metre six of Scott Boland. Spare a thought for the bowler, y’all! 

I’m guessing then the two put on a humongous stand for the first wicket?

Indeed. A 103-run stand for the first wicket which came in just 59 deliveries. #ThunderPower 

Wait, didn’t Hobart unleash D’Arcy Short with the ball then? Didn’t he pick up a five-wicket haul in their last H2H meeting?

I’m afraid that the D’Arcy Short experiment with the ball went horribly wrong the Hurricanes today. 0-27 off his two overs and he was all but hit out of the attack by Hales and Khawaja. Every day is not Sunday, I suppose. 

The openers apart, did anyone else step it up with the bat for the Thunder?

Callum Ferguson and Alex Ross chipped in with scores of 33 and 21 respectively, but most of the damage was done by the Hales and Uzzie. I gotta say, the Thunder batting outside of their openers looks a bit susceptible. 

Let me take a guess - The Thunder openers were flying after which the Hurricanes brought in Qais Ahmad and choked the batting team?

That’s a good guess, but nah, today was not Qais’ day. He was whacked for 30 runs, took no wickets and in fact, did not even complete his quota of 10 overs. 

WHAT? Then who was the standout bowler for the Hurricanes? 

It was…….Nathan Ellis. Yep, the boy’s been a revelation this season, I tell you. Remember how he held his nerve in the last over against the Renegades the other day? He just seems to thrive under pressure. He was the difference today between say the Thunder scoring 225 and them eventually ending up with 197. His figures? 4-0-18-1 on a day where no Hurricanes bowler had an ER under 9.00. He conceded JUST TEN RUNS off his final 2 overs. How good is that? 

A target of 198? Woof. Seems tailor-made for Matthew Wade and D’Arcy Short to chase down

Indeed. It did look like that. And after they raced off to 18-0 within two overs, it looked like the Thunder bowlers were going to face the same fate as the Strikers bowlers on Sunday. But yep, told ya, every day is not a Sunday. Wade fell for just 14 and whilst Short threatened to go big, his innings, too, was cut short prematurely as he fell for 37. 

Let me guess - Chris Morris knocked down both the openers?

I know you’re an RCB fan, but even by your fanbase’s ludicrous standards, this is too much. Who other than the almighty Jonathan Cook to get rid off two big-hitting openers? He bowled 3 spells of 1 over each and in those spells, combinedly returned with figures of 3-0-17-2 with the wickets of Short and Wade to his name. The glorious man-bun is working wonders on the offie, indeed. Oh and as if he wasn’t satisfied with those three overs, he claimed two more wickets in his final over to end with figures of 4-0-21-4. 

Alright alright. Please tell me George Bailey played a memorable knock in his last ever match in Hobart?

I apologize for being the bearer of bad news once again. I gotta tell you, George started off his innings well, striking Morris for back-to-back boundaries, but eventually, greed got the better off him as he holed out to Chris Green at short mid-wicket. Oh and in case you didn’t know, Chris Green has been only banned from bowling, not catching. He is allowed to throw the ball, but he is not allowed to THROW the ball. Get it?

That’s sad. Fine, can you give me a briefing on how the Thunder bowlers fared? I’m assuming the Hurricanes batsmen flopped big time

So for once, your assumption is right. Yes, the Hurricanes batsmen did flop big time. And to answer your question, the trio of Daniel Sams, Morris and Cook were impeccable, breaking the back of the Hurricanes middle-order. Chris Tremain, too, had a good day at the office. Arjun Nair and Brendan Doggett were the two bowlers who were off-colour for the Thunder, but then again, if you can bowl out your opponents for a score of 140, it really doesn’t matter if a couple of your bowlers have an off day. 

Takeaways from this one-sided match up?

The first one that strikes my mind is DON’T EVER UNDERESTIMATE THE THUNDER. They have some PROPER big match players in their team and you know what, I wouldn’t be surprised if they string together a couple of more wins and somehow reach the Final. Another takeaway is the quality of Nathan Ellis. I really think the boy now has a serious chance of making it to Australia’s WT20 squad. There aren’t too many death bowlers going around in the country, you know. And as I said before, he just seems to thrive under pressure. A surprise package, maybe? 

Anyway, what does this result mean to BBL 09?

What this means is that we won’t be seeing the Hurricanes anymore in the competition, and on Saturday, Adelaide Strikers will host Sydney Thunder at the Adelaide Oval in the “Knockout” game to see who progresses to the “Challenger”. 

Any final thoughts?

I have to say, I had my hopes up after the first 22 overs of the game, but once Matty Wade fell, it all came crashing down. A bit disappointed with the Hurricanes’ performance, especially given the fact that they played at home. Anyway, time to take the Thunder seriously, I suppose. 

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