BBL: Hardie 90* helps Scorchers cruise past Hurricanes

Aaron Hardie maintained his breakthrough BBL season with a career-best performance to lead Perth Scorchers beat Hobart Hurricanes at Optus Stadium. Chasing 147, the Scorchers faltered early until Hardie grabbed control and joined with Josh Inglis in a 127-run combination to overpower the Hurricanes. Hardie ended 90 not out from 62 balls as the Scorchers strolled to win with 15 balls to spare.
The Scorchers are still fighting for first place with archrival Sydney Sixers, while the Hurricanes are trapped in the middle of the table.

Hardie makes No. 3 his own

BBL Perth Scorchers heat Hobart Hurricanes by 7 wickets, Aaron Hardie misses century in Big Bash 2023, Match 46

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Hardie was predicted to make a huge impact after being on the outskirts of the Scorchers’ line-up in previous seasons, and he’s delivered. He began the season with a half-century against the Sixers while batting at No. 6, but because of the exits of Faf du Plessis and Adam Lyth, he was forced to move up the order. Hardie has three half-centuries in five innings after being promoted to No. 3. His bravado and menacing demeanor at the crease are reminiscent of injured teammate Mitchell Marsh, whom Hardie has successfully replaced.

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After the Scorchers were in early danger against the Hurricanes, Hardie remained cool before crushing the Hurricanes’ touch attack with a flurry of boundaries all over the wicket. Hardie was so dominating that he eclipsed big-hitting Inglis (53 off 35), who maintained his excellent season with a half-century highlighted by stunning scoop shots.

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Dooley’s injury marred another strong effort

Patrick Dooley, a left-arm spinner, has been a surprise this season, taking 16 wickets at a stunning economy of just over six. Dooley, who works as a lawyer by day, has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Australia’s forthcoming Test tour of India. His eye-catching bowling movement and vivacious demeanor have made him a cult icon. Dooley was in the heart of the action early on after convincing captain Matthew Wade to appeal a not-out lbw call on Cameron Bancroft.

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It looked ludicrous at first, but Dooley was justified when replays revealed that the ball had struck in line. He seemed to be a vital player, but he was handicapped by an apparent groin injury. Despite being plainly inconvenienced, Dooley pressed on and bowled four overs in a row. He concluded with fantastic statistics of 1 for 20 after four overs, but the Hurricanes will be concerned about his health as they hunt for a finals spot.

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Lance Morris released ‘Wild Thing

Lance Morris, who is on the outskirts of Australia’s Test squad, has received a lot of attention. Morris, 24, is the quickest bowler in the nation, capable of speeds in excess of 150 km and dubbed ‘Wild Thing’ in homage to former Australia speedy Shaun Tait. However, he has struggled in T20 cricket over the years and has been in and out of the Scorchers’ powerful attack since returning from Test team commitments. Morris had perhaps his greatest effort in his brief BBL career after being recalled and aiming to carve out a berth ahead of the finals.

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With Jimi Hendrix’s renowned ‘Wild Thing’ song resonating throughout Optus Stadium, Morris played up to his reputation with a blazing surge during the powerplay. Morris bounced out hard-hitting opener Caleb Jewell before greeting Wade with a beast of short delivery on a fast surface, in contrast to the slower decks at the venue earlier in the season.

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Something had to give between these two firebrands, and Morris succeeded with a change of speed that unsettled Wade, whose attempted flip down the leg-side was beautifully collected by wicketkeeper Inglis. Morris was on his way to his maiden three-wicket haul in T20s when another nasty bouncer had Zak Crawley holing out to the backward square. He ended with 2 for 21 from four overs, which could just be enough to save his spot.

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Andrews and Ellis outperform the top-tier

In hot circumstances, the Hurricanes’ dynamic batting order failed to produce. Perth-bred Tim David threatened and smacked spinner Ashton Agar for a big six before driving a strong straight to deep midwicket. At 7 for 96, the Hurricanes staged an unexpected late resurgence led by Tom Andrews and Nathan Ellis, who combined for a 44-run partnership. Andrews, who has a First Class century, has faced only one delivery in his previous two BBL outings this season.

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He put his foot down amid a 25-run power outburst as the Hurricanes gained late momentum. Andrews surprisingly led the Hurricanes in scoring with 27, while Ellis’ knock of 24 was his best T20 score in his 50th innings.

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