Raipur: Hobart Hurricanes produced a commanding performance to beat Northern Knights by 86 runs in a Group B match to keep their hopes afloat in the Oppo Champions League Twenty20, here on Tuesday.
Sent into bat, the Hurricanes rode on a brilliant half century from Aiden Blizzard and Shoaib Maik's quickfire 45 to score 178 for three before Ben Hilfenhaus (3/14) came up with a lethal opening spell to derail the Knights' chase. Chasing the challenging total, the Knights' innings never got going as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
After opener Anton Devcich fell to Joe Mennie, it was Hilfenhaus who wreaked the Knights' chase picking up three wickets in a span of four overs, two of which came in the third over. Hilfenhaus first had Kane Williamson caught at mid-off to Xavier Doherty and then went through the defence of skipper Daniel Flynn in the very next ball to stand on the verge of a hat-trick.
Even though Hilfenhaus failed to register the hat-trick, he dismissed BJ Watling, LBW in the seventh over to sign off a good day in office. Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty then picked up two wickets -- Daryl Mitchell and Scott Kuggeleijn -- in his two consecutive overs more or less assure the win in his side's favour. Therafeter, Doug Bollinger ((3/22) came to the party and ram through the lower order to seal the win for the Australian outfit.
Scott Styris was the top-scorer for the Knights with a 27-ball 37 followed Tim Southee's 12-bal 21-run knock as no other batsmen from the Kiwi side could manage double digit score. Earlier, Blizzard and Malik shared 100 off just 50 balls to set the platform for the total after the Hurricanes scored just 29 runs off the first six overs.
Blizzard decorated his 43-ball knock with eight boundaries, while Malik struck five fours and two sixes during his 22-ball innings. Opening the batting skipper Tim Paine scored 43 off 34 balls with the help of six fours and one six. Sent into bat, the Hurricanes started cautiously and scored just 21 runs off 5.3 overs before Ben Dunk (12) was caught by Tim Southee off Scott Kuggeleijn.
Skipper Paine and Blizzard then tried to built the Hurricanes' innings with a 47-run second wicket stand that came off 32 balls. Just when it seemed the duo had settled down, Paine fell to leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, caught by Trent Boult in the 11th over.
But Blizzard and Malik steadied the ship with some sensible batting. In fact, coming to bat at No.4 Malik was the dominant in the partnership early on as he used his long handle to great effect to pile up runs for his team.
Sodhi was the first to face the brunt of Malik's onslaught as the Pakistani batsman struck the spinner for a four and a six to pick up 14 runs off the 13th over. Malik continued his attacking batting and clobbered Scott Styris for two boundaries and a six to score 19 runs off the 16th over. Blizzard was not to be left behind as he matched his partner stroke by stroke and struck Boult for two fours in the next over.
Blizzard was at his attacking best towards the end of the innings as he smashed Boult for four consecutive boundaries in the 19th over to bring up his fifty in style.
Blizzard, however, departed in the first balls of the ultimate over caught by Styris off Southee.