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CLT20 2014 – HOB vs NK: Hurricanes Blow Away High-flying Knights

By on September 23, 2014

Hobart Hurricanes 178 for 3 (Blizzard 62, Malik 45*) beat Northern Knights 92 (Styris 37, Hilfenhaus 3-14, Bollinger 3-22) by 86 runs…

Blizzard top-scored for Hurricanes with 62 off 43 balls.

CLT20 2014 - HOB vs NK: Ben HilfenhausNorthern Knights’ coach James Pamment’s fears of his team getting carried away by the initial success turned true on Tuesday night as they crashed to an 86-run defeat against their Trans-Tasman rival Hobart Hurricanes in the ninth-match of the CLT20 at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur.

The rivalry brought best out of the Australian team as they bowled out Knights for 92 in 16.4 overs after posting a challenging 178 for 3 in their stipulated 20 overs.

With dew being a major hindrance for the bowlers and fielders, the ground staff had to work round-the-clock to make the game possible. Chasing a stiff target in such conditions, Knights needed a solid start but pacer Joe Mennie and Ben Hilfenhaus had other plans.

Hilfenhaus, in particular, was in ominous form as he got rid of Kane Williamson and Daniel Flynn in successive balls in the third over after Mennie provided the breakthrough by sending back opener Anton Devcich. With three wickets gone for just five runs on the board, Knights needed something out of the bolt.

However, that did not happen as they were soon down to 63 for 6 in the 14th over with none of the top-five batsmen managing to get into double digits. Had it not been for New Zealand’s old dog Scott Styris’ 27-ball 37, the Kiwi side were staring at further embarrassment.

Hilfenhaus easily was the best bowler of the night as he returned with figures of 4-0-14-3 and was equally helped by Doug Bollinger, who also bagged three wickets. A late order counter-attack by Tim Southee (21 off 12 balls) just delayed the inevitable for Knights.

Prior, Knights’ new-ball attack continued their romance with Raipur’s pitch initially as they kept a tight line, not allowing Hurricanes openers to free their arms.

Trent Boult and Tim Southee started brilliantly, giving away just 19 runs in their first four overs. The pressure created by the two seamers worked for NK as Ben Dunk went for a slog-hit the moment he saw Scott Kuggeleijn, only to see the ball land safely in Southee’s hands at mid-on in the sixth over.

Hurricanes captain Tim Paine, who managed just 18 runs in his previous two games in the tournament, bought his time at the crease early on.

Paine and Blizzard added 47 runs for the second-wicket to give Hurricanes some move on but just when it looked that the pair was well set, the Indian-origin spinner Ish Sodhi struck to remove the skipper in the 11th over. Hurricanes captain scored 43 off 34 balls.

From there on, the onus moved to the experienced duo of Blizzard and Shoaib Malik. Blizzard, who had scored 78 in his previous match against Cobras, used his form to good effect and rotated strike at will. Malik on the other end was more dominating in the partnership.

With dew being a big factor, Knights’ bowlers did a commendable job by keeping the two batsmen quiet for a considerable period. Veteran allrounder Styris once again proved his worth in the team as his ‘you miss I hit line’ proved difficult to get away with.

Despite being hit for a four and a six on the last two balls of his spell, Styris conceded just 28 runs in his four overs.

Blizzard and Malik, who were playing the waiting game until then, stepped up the tempo as soon as they saw an opportunity with the wet ball making it difficult for the bowlers to grip. Boult, who came back into the attack in the 17th over was carted around for 13 runs with Blizzard sending him twice for four.

The batsman brought up his fifty in 39 balls. Boult was once again at the receiving end of Blizzard’s blitzkrieg as the Australian hit him for four consecutive fours in the 19th over.

Blizzard-Malik third-wicket partnership came in just 50 balls to give Hurricanes a big lift and by the time Southee dislodged Blizzard, the batsman had raced to 62 from 43 balls. HH added 76 runs in their last five overs as their out-of-form batsman Malik return to form with 45 off 22 balls in a winning cause.

Eventually, Pamment, who had fears of Hurricanes pace bowling strength, will go to the drawing board with lot to think over before their next match against Group B toppers Kings XI Punjab in Mohali on Friday.

Source: gocricket

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