Hobart Hurricanes were always the favourites as they took on Barbados Tridents in the Group B match at Mohali. And the way in which they performed in the game was proof of the same. Their bowling was superb, and was instrumental in them winning the game, and booking for them a spot in the semi-final. Although their batting wasn’t as impressive, it was still good enough for them to clinch a victory. A couple of their key batsmen stood up, but again it must be reiterated that their bowling won them the game.
Hobart pacer Ben Hilfenhaus was the star of the show with the ball in hand. Not only did he pick up two key wickets of opener Dilshan Munaweera and Raymon Reifer, but also was extremely economical. The fact that he gave away only 14 runs in his four overs, which was inclusive of a maiden is ample proof of his brilliance. He was very well supported by Doug Bollinger, who also picked up two key wickets including the big one of veteran Neil McKenzie. Together, Hilfenhaus and Bollinger never allowed Tridents to settle into any kind of rhythm.
What the pacers did very well was to allow the spinners to settle in nicely. And, Xavier Doherty benefited hugely from this. With the runs not coming, the batsmen were forced to go after the left-arm spinner, and Doherty took good advantage of the situation. His four-wicket spell ensured that any hopes the Tridents had of recovering went up in flames. Jonathan Carter, who made 42, was the only batsman from Tridents who showed some resistance. But, Doherty sent him back with a little over three overs to spare, and in a 20-over game, even that was a big setback for the batting side.
Hobart would have hoped for a better chase. But, credit to the Tridents’ bowlers, who fought hard and gave them an outside chance. Ben Dunk’s early dismissal gave the Tridents hope, but their poor fielding cost them as Aiden Blizzard was reprieved again. Tridents did well to send back him and Tim Paine, but Shoaib Malik brought all his experience into play to see the Hurricanes through to the semis. His unbeaten 39 from 35 balls was a mature knock, and with Jonathan Wells also chipping in, the chase was deservedly achieved by Hobart Hurricanes.
--By A Cricket Analyst