Palmerbet Sports Team break down the BBL final, with Adelaide Strikers hosting Hobart Hurricanes in what shapes as an epic Sunday afternoon clash.
History: Played 9: Strikers 5 V Hurricanes 3 (1 No Result).
Last meeting: January 17, 2018: Strikers d Hurricanes by 11 runs at Adelaide Oval.
Final Thoughts: After two stunning Big Bash League semi-finals, Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes are the teams left to duke it out for the big prize.
The Hurricanes limped into the playoffs with three straight losses before pulling off one of the great Big Bash boilovers in Thursday’s semi-final.
Matthew Wade (71 from 45 balls) and Ben McDermott (67* off 30) powered the underdogs to a massive total of 4/210, before Dan Christian (4/17) and Thomas Rogers (3/31) helped bowl the Scorchers out for just 139 in Perth.
It was a timely return to batting form for Wade, while the previously out-of-sorts Christian also chipped in with 37 off 22 to back up his 56* in the Hurricanes’ last regular-season fixture.
The Strikers then held on for a nerve-shredding one-run win over the Renegades in Adelaide on Friday. Skipper Travis Head – a late inclusion after being left out of Australia’s line-up for their T20 Tri-series opener – starred with 85* off 57 and 1/27, and his presence is a monumental bonus for the Strikers in the decider.
Meanwhile, opener Jake Weatherald chimed in with 57 and the clutch last-over bowling of Ben Laughlin sealed the victory.
The teams met twice in the regular season, each claiming a narrow win at home after batting first. D’arcy Short – who is with the Australian T20 squad and will miss the final – led the Hurricanes to victory in Hobart with 96, while an Alex Carey century paved the way for the Strikers in Adelaide, but he also away on national T20 duty.
Both sides are chasing their maiden BBL title, with the Strikers in their first final and the Hurricanes losing their only previous appearance in a decider in the 2013/14 summer.
Another nail-biter looms at Adelaide Oval, but the home-ground advantage and the fortuitous availability of brilliant all-rounder Head tips the scales firmly in the Strikers’ favour.