Matthew Wade’s undefeated 130 of 61 balls would have been remarkable under normal circumstances, but with his team’s season on the line, it was as timely as it was great.
Wade broke eleven borders and seven sixes and scored the highest individual rating with a hurricanes batsman (D’Arcy Short with 122 not against Brisbane Heat in BBL07), Marcus Stoinis with 147 not two weeks ago.
After crushing the second ball of the innings on the middle goal line, Wade reached his half-century after 24 deliveries (with seven fours and a six) and his century after another 24 deliveries, with his second 50’s only showing two further limits and another four strokes beyond of the rope.
Most of all, this meant that Hobart had set the more imaginative striker an unprecedented goal in the Adelaide Oval to keep their season alive.
In most previous games from BBL | In 09, the 72 of 55 D’Arcy Short balls at the top of the leaderboard would have been a potentially profitable stroke.
But Short, who has returned to the Hurricanes lineup after national missions in India, happily took on the support role at the 203 run opening booth with Wade. This was best illustrated by the fact that Short reached its half a century after the same number of deliveries (48) that Wade needed to publish his ton.
When Billy Stanlake took the ball over Hobart’s flash for the eighth time, Matthew Wade had already fired 40 of 21 balls and was flying.
Stanlake’s radar had gone astray, and in addition to the two sixes and a boundary that Wade helped himself to, the great flash sent three wides down. To top off a miserable ending, he dropped Wade (then 57 out of 25) from Jon Wells, who hopped to the left on the deep, rear, square leg boundary.
The English importer Phil Salt had a slow start in BBL in his first three games for the Strikers 09 with three single-digit results. He should have added one this evening when George Bailey dropped a sitter when Salt was four years old.
But the right-hander maximized reparation, reaching 50 fewer deliveries (25) than Wade earlier in the day.
He has dropped again – from Short at Deep Mid-Wicket – to 44, but his chance to emulate Wade’s hundred was lost when Short held a hook in the same position four overs later.
Jon Wells is usually just as reliable in the outfield as with a racket in hand, although the chance that Wade offered on Stanlake’s 57 bowling was anything but easy.
But after finding a good floor on his left, the ball came out of his normally secure grip when it slid on his knees. It would be another 10 overs and 113 runs for the hurricanes before the Strikers made their lone breakthrough.
Agar jumped to escape the ball’s path, but he hit his right kneecap and collapsed agonizingly on the field. He was given medical treatment for a few minutes before he could send the final delivery – which only cost one.