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Scorchers escape against Hurricanes

By Chris Pike
7 January 2014 11:00PM EST

THE Perth Scorchers overcame horror running between the wickets and received luck late with the ball to defend a relatively small total at the WACA Ground against the Hobart Hurricanes.

The Scorchers batted first in Tuesday's Big Bash League clash and with four run outs in their innings were restricted by the Hurricanes to just 7-153 from 20 overs.

Hobart looked on track for victory throughout most of the run chase thanks to good knocks from Ben Dunk (28), Travis Birt (22), Shoaib Malik (26) and Owais Shah (32) but things came unglued at the finish.

The Hurricanes were 3-133 needing just 21 runs from the last 17 balls but then things went sour in a hurry when experienced international pair Malik and Shah fell in successive overs.

Three wickets fell in the space of six balls, including two LBW decisions off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile that the umpire got wrong and were missing the stumps, to put the Scorchers on top.

The Hurricanes then needed 14 runs off the final over with Ben Hilfenhaus on strike, but there would be no heroics on this occasion as Hobart managed just seven to finish on 7-147 from the 20 overs to fall seven runs short of victory.

It is the second time this BBL campaign that the Scorchers have come from nowhere with the ball to defend a modest total at the WACA Ground having early found a way to defend 117 against the Melbourne Renegades.

After coming in at No. 3 due to his broken finger in Friday's win over the Thunder where he hit a match-winning 75, Simon Katich opened the innings for the Scorchers with Shaun Marsh and the pair made a strong start.

They were just starting to size up the Hurricanes' bowling as well having put together 60 in eight overs before Katich was disastrously run out for 22 from 20 balls with a four and a six.

Just seven balls later and Marsh was out caught behind off Hilfenhaus for 40 from 32 balls with four boundaries and a six before some horror running between the wickets really cut into the Scorchers' progress.

The experienced Adam Voges was led the wrong path by Craig Simmons and run out for two and then Simmons was soon to join him after an unimpressive eight from 10 balls.

After being 0-60 after 7.4 overs, the Scorchers went on to lose 3-5 in eight balls and 4-29 in 32 balls to be in trouble at 4-89 and looking likely to set a well below score on a batsmen-friendly WACA pitch.

Mitch Marsh then somewhat steadied the ship for the Scorchers making 33 from 31 balls with two fours and a six before he was caught by Dunk from the bowling of Ben Laughlin.

Ashton Turner then played his first innings of substance at this level as he made 32 from 17 balls and remained not out at the first despite losing Coulter-Nile for two and then with Sam Whiteman run out off the last ball of the innings for nine giving the Scorchers four run outs.

The home team finished on 7-153 from the 20 overs with the total appearing well below par.

Doug Bollinger was the pick of the bowlers for the Hurricanes with 1-23 from four overs with Xavier Doherty also finishing with 0-25 from four, Hilfenhaus 1-27 from four, Malik 0-37 from four and Laughlin 1-40 from four.

Captain Tim Paine and Dunk got the Hurricanes off to a solid start in the run chase with a 35-run stand in just over four overs before Paine fellow for nine from 10 balls with Katich taking a juggling catch off Coulter-Nile.

Mitch Marsh came on to bowl shortly after and got rid of the dangerous Dunk for 28 off 26 balls with Hobart 2-59.

It didn’t really slow up the Hurricanes, though, as Pakistani Malik joined Birt at the crease and Birt was just starting to show form with a huge six before the Hurricanes caught the run out bug, with Birt caught short of his crease for 22 off 14 balls.

Hobart was still in control, though, at 3-82 at the halfway mark of the innings well on target in the run chase as their two internationals came together with Malik joined by Shah.

The experienced pair combined for a 51-run partnership as well in 44 balls showing their international prowess of handing run chases.

However, there was a twist left in the match and it started when Yasir Arafat got rid of his Pakistan teammate Malik for 26 from 30 deliveries.

That same Arafat over he managed to clean bowl Jonathan Wells for one when he poorly executed a scoop shot attempt.

The very next ball at the start of Coulter-Nile's over Shah was given out LBW despite the ball going on to miss leg stump.

Shah was out for a solid 32 from 26 balls and then four balls later Laughlin also received a rough leg before decision for one.

The Hurricanes had gone from being 3-133 in the 18th over to now being 7-140 with six balls remaining having lost 4-7 in the space of 11 deliveries.

That left a big job for Aiden Blizzard (6 off 6) and Hilfenhaus (0 off 2) for the final over off Arafat, and the Pakistani seamer got the job done for the Scorchers.

Coulter-Nile got some help with a couple of poor decisions but finished with impressive figures of 3-15 from his four overs for the Scorchers with Arafat taking 2-27 from four, Mitch Marsh 1-40 from four, Jason Behrendorff 0-29 from four and Brad Hogg 0-24 from four.

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