sydney sixers 180 for 7 (Smith 66, Dwarshuis 30, Dooley 3-42) hobart storm 156/8 (Crowley 49, Bird 2-26, Abbott 2-32, Kerr 2-34) by 24 runs
The seventh-placed Hurricanes are two points behind fifth-placed Sydney Thunder and will play their final match against the Brisbane Heat in Launceston on Wednesday. The Sixers had already occupied second place on the ladder and met the Perth Scorchers in a blockbuster qualifying final at the Optus Stadium.
Steven Smith is in great form
Smith entered the match on the back of back-to-back centuries after lighting the fuse under the BBL since his much-anticipated return. There were concerns that a back injury could rule him out of the contest, but Smith seemed unaffected at the crease.
Amidst a complete attack, Smith surely became the first player in T20 history to hit three consecutive tons. He fell short of the record books, but once again produced a brilliant display of power-hitting.
The Hurricanes were out of answers as every blow from Smith was further fueling their season. But Smith fell lbw when he missed a knee-high full toss from seamer Nathan Ellis.
Smith reviewed, and was disappointed to be dismissed in such fashion. But he has once again proved a point to critics in his mission to earn a permanent spot in Australia’s T20I team.
Remarkably, Smith has hit 24 sixes in just four innings – six more than the next best Tim David and Matthew Short, who have batted in 13 innings.
Patrick Dooley’s prowess continues for key wickets
The Hurricanes were staring down the barrel of a mammoth chase after Smith was dismissed in the ninth over but fought back.
In his day job, Vakil Dole has become a talisman for the attack, but a costly 18th over paved the way for a poor finish from the Hurricanes’ bowlers.
Jackson justifies Bird’s inclusion as Sixers’ pace dominates
It was a solid audition for him ahead of the Sixers’ trip to Perth’s pace-friendly Optus Stadium, but he was left fuming after Faheem Ashraf claimed a forward-dividing catch off the first ball he faced, which was eventually adjudged not out. .
Hobart Hurricanes’ batting fails again
It seems unfathomable that the Hurricanes will miss the playoffs given the amount of batting firepower at their disposal. But it has proved to be fool’s gold in a mostly disappointing season and it has proven again against a veteran Sixers attack.
McDermott, such a powerhouse in previous years, has been off the boil this season and came into the match with four straight single-digit failures. But he quickly reached double figures this time with three fours in his first eight balls and fell for 13 shortly afterwards.
When skipper Matthew Wade fell for 14 in the eighth over, the Hurricanes’ fortunes again hinged on in-form Tim David, who has been shining brightly this season. David hit three fours in his first four balls before getting out in the 12th over.
Crowley endured a form slump, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Tristan Lovelett is a journalist based in Perth