Faulkner, Bailey star as Hurricanes inch closer to semis
James Faulkner took three for 36 before smashing 28 off 20 balls to cap an all-round performance as Hobart Hurricanes chased down a target of 178 against Perth Scorchers with three balls and four wickets to spare to make it seven wins in eight BBL games this season.
With 16 required off last over, Faulkner blasted six, four and a six off Andrew Tye’s first three balls in the final over to seal the victory for the table-toppers at Perth Stadium.
Earlier, after being put into bat, the Scorchers had a horrible start as Cameron Bancroft, Michael Klinger and skipper Ashton Turner fell with just seven runs on the board, with all three scalps going to Faulkner. But a 77-run fourth-wicket partnership between Sam Whiteman and Hilton Cartwright restored some semblance to Scorchers innings.
Hurricanes paceman Jofra Archer was ordered out of the attack during his second over after bowling two illegal full tosses. The 23-year-old received a warning after bowling a waist-high full toss to Sam Whiteman in the sixth over. And he was ordered out of the attack by the umpires after bowling a second full toss in his next over - this time the slower ball sailing high and wide over Whiteman's head.
Cartwright fell for run-a-ball 29 after being caught behind off D’Arcy Short. Another collapsed followed, with Scorchers reducing to seven for 117. Whiteman (66 off 44) picked the deep midwicket off debutant David Moody. But the duo of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Andrew Tye had other plans as they smashed 31* and 25 respectively as the home side to 177 for nine.
Faulkner was the pick of the bowlers with three for 36 while Riley Meredith and Moody shared two wickets each.
In reply, Hurricanes top-order had a mixed start as skipper Matthew Wade, Short and Ben McDermott fell after scoring 8, 13 and 16 respectively. Despite the wickets falling, the visitors kept up with the asking rate, adding 48 runs in the powerplay.
But a match-winning innings from veteran George Bailey followed who scored 69 off 39 balls to take the Hurricanes closer to the target. Hurricanes debutant Caleb Jewell - who replaced Jake Doran in the line-up after he was chosen in the Cricket Australia XI Tour Match against Sri Lanka - was the next highest scorer making an exciting 32 off just 20 balls including six boundaries and one six.
When Bailey departed after hitting a half-century that included six boundaries and three sixes, Hurricanes were in need of 25 runs off 20 balls. Johan Botha got a boundary off the last ball of 18th over but a brilliant penultimate over from Coulter-Nile, where he conceded just five runs, turned the tide in favour of the home side.
But Faulkner didn’t let the pressure get big of him as he smashed Tye over deep square-leg off the one bowled on his legs. The 28-year-old then smashed a length ball between deep midwicket and long-on to collect a boundary to bring the equation to six off four balls. Tye followed with a fuller ball which Faulkner was able to middle and deposit over long-off to cap off a stunning day for himself and bringing his side closer to qualifying for semi-finals.
While the Tasmanian team's record improved to 7-1, the Scorchers' finals hopes are hanging by a thread at 3-6.
"I'm a bit stunned myself," Faulkner told broadcaster Fox Cricket after hitting the winning runs.
"It was a really good chase. I backed my skill, I backed my training. I've had a lot of time in the nets."
Bailey was adjudged player of the match for his brilliant half-century.
Hurricanes next visit Adelaide Strikers on January 21 while Scorchers will host Sydney Thunder on January 24.