First BBL07 semi-final: Perth Scorchers vs Hobart Hurricanes preview

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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22 Have your say

    We are at the pointy end of the Big Bash League, with the first semi-final pitting the competition’s most consistent side, the table-topping Perth Scorchers, against one of the competition’s surprise packets in the fourth-placed Hobart Hurricanes.

    The Scorchers’ gutsy win over the Adelaide Strikers last Thursday was effectively a quarter-final for both sides, with top spot the carrot in front of them.

    Perth bowled exceptionally well to keep Adelaide to 6-137 in the last game at the WACA, just the latest display in a consistent season from the reigning champions.

    Hobart lost their last game of the season to the Melbourne Stars (of all teams!) but qualified for the final courtesy of the Brisbane Heat falling in a massive heap against the Melbourne Renegades in the final match of the BBL07 regular season.

    Matthew Wade

    (AAP Image/Rob Blakers)

    First vs fourth presents an interesting contrast.

    The Scorchers have been the only side in the competition who haven’t relied on a couple of key players to win games this summer, with contributions coming from players up and down the team list. Only last weekend I made mention of how hard it was to pick a standout player from eight or ten players who had really good BBL campaigns.

    The Hurricanes, on the other hand, have benefitted hugely from the competition’s leading runscorer, D’Arcy Short, and Tasmania’s new BBL cult hero Jofra Archer. They have had key contributions from other players over the last few games of the season, and they’ve arrived at precisely the right time.

    For Hobart will, of course, be without Short, whose 504 runs for the season is a BBL record, as is his unbeaten 122* against Brisbane back on January 10. Archer took nearly twice as many wickets as his side’s next-best bowler. Test and ODI keeper Tim Paine comes in for Short, though may only open the batting and not keep wicket, with the man he replaced in both sides, Matthew Wade, remaining in the squad.

    The Scorchers lose Ashton Agar and Andrew Tye to T20 international duty, but they regain Mitch and Shaun Marsh for the brothers’ first games of BBL07, and Jhye Richardson from the ODI squad. Some pretty handy replacements, though with Ashton Turner not yet back bowling, the spin option may fall on skipper Adam Voges.

    While other sides are starting to prefer setting a target, Perth have definitely been a bowl-first side this summer. They won the toss eight times in their ten BBL07 games, bowled every time and won seven of those games. But don’t worry, on the one occasion they were sent in, they beat the Stars.

    Hobart only won the toss four times this season, but batted first and won on the last three of those occasions. All up, the Hurricanes batted first seven times, winning four of those games. Their only win batting second came on January 15, when they chased down Brisbane’s 8-165 at Bellerive Oval.

    The WACA has been a fortress for the Scorchers, but playing their first match over the river at the impressive new Perth Stadium will present something of a new challenge. Last Sunday’s one-day international debut gave some promising signs in terms of the way the pitch played and the general atmosphere, and the home side will be hoping that converts into a bigger, better, noisier fortress – quickly.

    Ashton Turner

    (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

    Semi-final one: Perth Scorchers vs Hobart Hurricanes, Perth Stadium

    Perth Scorchers squad: Adam Voges (capt), Cameron Bancroft, Will Bosisto, Tim Bresnan, Hilton Cartwright, Mitchell Johnson, Matthew Kelly, Michael Klinger, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Haydan Morton, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner.

    Hobart Hurricanes squad: George Bailey, Jofra Archer, Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Alex Doolan, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, Tim Paine, Nathan Reardon, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose, Matthew Wade.

    Tip: The Hurricanes needed to be at full strength to beat the Scorchers in Perth, and they aren’t, so I can’t see how they can.

    Hobart will need all 11 players to fire, and then hope that more than a few Scorchers have an off night, but that’s a big ask after the consistent campaign Perth have led to date.

    T20 is a funny game, and stranger things have happened, however Perth not reaching a sixth BBL final this summer would be a strange thing, indeed.

    Perth Scorchers to secure yet another home BBL final.

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • February 1st 2018 @ 7:47am
      Jameswm said | February 1st 2018 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      I might not be the first to say this, but it’s pretty poor timing for teams to lose guys like Short and Agar for the semis.

      However getting the Marshes and Richardson back, it’s hard to see the Scorchers losing.

      • Columnist

        February 1st 2018 @ 11:30am
        Brett McKay said | February 1st 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        Yeah, it’s not great James, and I still argue they could’ve been juggled better than they were – why couldn’t the national players played the semis at least, for eg? – but it is what it is, I suppose. Certainly, Perth and Adelaide appear to have planned ahead for it…

    • February 1st 2018 @ 10:02am
      BurgyGreen said | February 1st 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

      We made enough runs without Short last game – it’s our bowling that has caused us the most issues. Fortunately, they’ve read the writing on the wall and dropped Tymal Mills.

      Hopefully they pick Tom Rogers and not Riley Meredith, who is a promising express fast bowler but will be easily milked in the BBL at this stage of his career. Would’ve liked them to give Rainbird a shot though.

      • Columnist

        February 1st 2018 @ 11:32am
        Brett McKay said | February 1st 2018 @ 11:32am | ! Report

        no argument about Tommy Rogers from me, Burgy, but I’m completely biased on this topic…

        (I played with Tommy for his first couple of years coming through grade cricket here in Canberra)

        • February 1st 2018 @ 11:44am
          JoM said | February 1st 2018 @ 11:44am | ! Report

          My son played Green Shield with him when he first came up to Sydney

        • February 1st 2018 @ 12:16pm
          BurgyGreen said | February 1st 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

          Also Canberra based, so perhaps some bias on my part as well

    • Roar Guru

      February 1st 2018 @ 10:36am
      Ryan H said | February 1st 2018 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      Think the Scorchers will be too strong at home, just. They have an unbelievable knack of finding a way to win, especially at home, and they are equally capable defending low-ish totals or chasing large ones. Should be tight however, as these two normally fight out close ones.

      • Roar Guru

        February 1st 2018 @ 11:51am
        pformagg said | February 1st 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

        “at home” doesn’t really take into effect, as it is not at the WACA, so it more of a neutral venue.

        • Columnist

          February 1st 2018 @ 12:14pm
          Brett McKay said | February 1st 2018 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

          A neutral venue that will just have twice as many home fans as would otherwise have been the case!

        • Roar Rookie

          February 1st 2018 @ 12:20pm
          piru said | February 1st 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

          There’s no way Optus is a neutral venue!

          • February 1st 2018 @ 1:02pm
            TomCarter'ssprintcoach said | February 1st 2018 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

            Does that mean ANZ is a neutral venue for the Tahs? Cool.

        • Roar Guru

          February 1st 2018 @ 1:01pm
          Ryan H said | February 1st 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

          Sure it’s not what the Scorchers have experienced before, and less of a ‘home’ advantage than the WACA, but 50k or so home fans in full voice will have an impact no doubt.

          • February 1st 2018 @ 2:02pm
            mattyb said | February 1st 2018 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

            It’s a home ground advantage all right.
            50k+ people watching the countries best sporting side,in the countries best sporting stadium are going to go wild. It will be deafening and a major boost to the Scorchers.

    • February 1st 2018 @ 2:10pm
      mad monk said | February 1st 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

      Very good chance Scorchers will get a blow out win. HH are a 50% W/L team that have lost 3 on the trot without its main man, playing away from home against the best team (arguably in the history of the competition). They should get pumped.

      • Columnist

        February 1st 2018 @ 6:42pm
        Brett McKay said | February 1st 2018 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

        Yet such is the lottery of Twenty20 cricket, we all know we can’t rule Hobart out at all!

        Looking forward to it tonight!

    • February 1st 2018 @ 3:18pm
      Alistair said | February 1st 2018 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

      Could be interesting. Team consistency is important, and the Scorchers have had a lot of personnel changes. Hurricanes with just one, maybe two if Meredith comes in.

      The Scorchers main weakness this season has been their batting, if for example the Hurricanes bat first and make a 160 plus score, it could be interesting. Although with Klinger, Marsh, Bancroft, M Marsh, Voges, Cartwright, Turner it’s hard to see ALL those batsmen failing.

      Still, I don’t think this will be a completely one-sided affair. Hobart’s bowling and fielding will have a large part in deciding the match I think, whether it happens up front or second.

      • February 1st 2018 @ 4:43pm
        mad monk said | February 1st 2018 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

        Sounds like wishful thinking. Could also be very boring.

        • February 1st 2018 @ 6:30pm
          Alistair said | February 1st 2018 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

          I’m a Strikers fan, and I am completely cognisant of the Scorchers’ credentials.

          The Hurricanes have been quite a good team though. Short has been obviously a gun, but there has been more than that. Batting and bowling has been fairly decent across the board, if not exceptional.
          Without the expensive Mills bowling, that is a bowling attack I think will concede less than 160 runs. So they need to score more than 160 up front, or restrict the Scorchers to 150-160 if they bat first.

          If they hold their catches, and Jofra Archer plays his part, I don’t see why the Canes can’t be competitive.

          I don’t see there being a blowout, unless a Marsh or two really bats out of their skin. But with their batting strength today, it certainly could happen.

          • Columnist

            February 1st 2018 @ 6:44pm
            Brett McKay said | February 1st 2018 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

            Agree with all this. Hobart lose a wicket-taker, but if that also saves them 15 runs in their bowling innings, that could be enough to make them well and truly competitive…

    • February 1st 2018 @ 7:05pm
      Johnno said | February 1st 2018 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

      Tim Bresnan…if he playes……is the key. If he bowls well (has been expensive) and keeps runs down we will win….I think!

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