The Hobart Hurricanes cruised to victory in their first match of the BBL campaign, set up by contrasting half-centuries from their openers. T20 debutant D’Arcy Short smashed 61 off 29 deliveries, while his captain and opening partner Tim Paine made a relatively more sedate 63 from 45 balls as the Hurricanes raced to 6 for 200 from their 20 overs.
In reply, the Sydney Sixers struggled to gain any significant momentum in their chase, an innings of 40 from 22 balls from opener Jason Roy their only real bright spot. The Sixers lost wickets throughout and were dismissed for 140 in the 17th over, and the 60-run loss was their second-heaviest defeat by runs in BBL history.
Born in the Northern Territory, Short plays his longer-form cricket for Western Australia and in this match made his Twenty20 debut for the Hurricanes. Short was handed the responsibility of opening with Paine and made a fast impression, racing to a half-century from 21 deliveries. He pummeled 18 runs from the second over of the game, bowled by Ben Dwarshuis, and another 20 from the next at the same end, bowled by Joe Mennie.
Short finished with 61 off 29 deliveries, which was the highest score ever by a T20 debutant in the Big Bash League, breaking a record that had stood for all of three days – Sydney Thunder’s Ryan Gibson had made 53 in his first T20 match, also against the Sixers, in this year’s season opener. For good measure, Short later added a wicket with his left-arm spin, in his first over as a T20 bowler.
Rose to the occasion
Chasing 201 was always going to be a tall order for the Sixers: only twice in BBL history had teams chased down 200-plus targets to win. But a 20-run opening over gave the Sixers hope, as Jason Roy plundered three fours and a six off Shaun Tait. However, the run-rate tightened up over the next two overs as Clive Rose went for five and Stuart Broad, in his first BBL appearance, conceded only four.
The pressure had built, and Rose capitalised in the fourth over of the chase. From its first ball, he had Jordan Silk caught by a backpedalling Broad at short third man, and from its fourth delivery he took a magnificent return catch to send Moises Henriques on his way for a golden duck. The Sixers had stumbled from 0 for 29 to 2 for 34. When Roy later fell to another spinner – stumped for 40 off 22 while dancing down to Cameron Boyce – the result was almost a formality.
Tait fires late
Twenty runs off his first over was hardly the start Tait was after, but he finished in fine style. The 15th over of the chase brought Tait three wickets as he trapped Steve O’Keefe lbw at 147kph and then had Sean Abbott caught behind and then bowled Sam Billings with a yorker so damaging that technicians had to come out onto the ground to fix the stumps that contained the camera and sound equipment. It meant Tait finished with 3.2-0-32-3 – a great recovery after that first over.