SuperCoach BBL|08 Review: Hobart Hurricanes
With several of their players as the most-owned players in the SuperCoach BBL game, Hobart Hurricanes dominated the competition's home-and-away stage thanks in no small part to their opening partnership of D'Arcy Short and Matthew Wade.
The opening duo regularly set the 'Canes up at the top of the order and allowed them to get off to rollicking starts, with Short scoring a mammoth 637 runs, hitting six half-centuries with a high score of 96 not out, and helping his side finish as the minor premiers.
It was only in the Semi-Final against the Melbourne Stars that the Hurricanes came undone, and contributed to another quirk of fate, with the minor premier of the BBL|08 season continuing the minor premier curse, failing to make the final despite being clearly the best-performed side in the competition during the regular season.
Top 5 players
- D'Arcy Short - BAT / BWL - 91.3 avg. points per game
- Qais Ahmad - BWL - 82.0
- Matthew Wade - WKP / BAT - 65.1
- James Faulkner - BAT / BWL - 54.0
- Joffra Archer - BAT / BWL - 51.6
D'Arcy Short finished the BBL|08 season as the highest points earner in SuperCoach BBL, over a hundred clear of his nearest competitor in the Stars' Marcus Stoinis. Playing every game he was available for, he started the competition as the highest-priced player in the game and finished in the second spot, just behind Stoinis, having shed a mere $1,600 from his starting price to finish at $257,300.
If Short has been a model of consistency from season-to-season, then fellow opener Matthew Wade has arguably been the breakout player of the summer of cricket, despite never being able to get a look in at international level. He's dominated proceedings throughout the year, blasting 592 runs in the Big Bash competition, on his way to six half-centuries for the tournament, pushing his credentials for a recall to the Australian side. Only his opening partner Short made more runs in BBL|08.
Both James Faulkner and Joffra Archer were, according to Hurricanes coach Adam Griffith, carrying injuries in their Semi-Final loss, with Faulkner managing a knee injury that required an injection to play through the pain, and English import Archer also suffering from a longstanding back injury against the Stars. Both Dual Position Players proved valuable contributors for their owners in SuperCoach, owned by approximately a quarter of all teams by the end of Round 13.
Qais Ahmad proved a revelation as a late replacement for the Hurricanes, playing in their final two games of the year, with the Afghani 18-year old showcasing an old head on young shoulders. Joining the Hobart side after being the joint leading wicket-taker at the Under 19 World Cup last year and having played for the Rajshahi Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League immediately prior to linking up with his new side, he's one to watch in BBL|09, no matter where he lands, as he's sure to be in serious demand.
Top 5 disappointments
- Simon Milenko - BAT / BWL - 13.4 average points per game
- Alex Doolan - BAT - 23.3
- Clive Rose - BWL - 24.2
- Ben McDermott - WKP / BAT - 39.4
- Johan Botha - BAT / BWL - 42.4
When a player suits up 14 times, it's to be expected that they'll have an average that's higher than the number of games that they play. All-rounder Simon Milenko couldn't quite manage that, getting to the crease 11 times and only making 92 runs, while he only rolled his arm over occasionally, claiming a solitary wicket and conceding 20 runs across 14 deliveries. When is an all-rounder not an all-rounder?
Despite having the best spectacles-and-cornrows combination seen on anyone in BBL|08, Clive Rose bowled in every one of the 14 games that he suited up in, but could only take four wickets across 215 balls bowled, conceding 280 runs for an Economy Rate of 7.81. That's an average of 70 runs per wicket. Ouch.
Ben McDermott actually had a pretty solid tournament, with two 50s to his name for the competition. Batting in the middle order, he was often coming in when big hitting was required to close out an innings after Short and Wade had laid the template for the team's innings - it was a case of hit out or get out. Unfortunately for his SuperCoach owners, too often he got out.
Top 5 individual performances
- D'Arcy Short - Round 8 - 182 points vs Melbourne Stars
- D'Arcy Short - Round 12 - 143 points vs Melbourne Renegades
- James Faulkner - Round 8 - 138 points vs Perth Scorchers
- Riley Meredith - Round 8 - 136 points vs Melbourne Stars
- Matthew Wade - Round 3 - 136 points vs Sydney Thunder
Looking ahead to BBL|09
The first and most pressing concern for the Hurricanes ahead of the next season of the Big Bash League is making sure that Qais Ahmad is signed up to be a continuing part of their side. Replacing the injured English import Tymal Mills at the conclusion of the season, the Afghani teenager was a sensational addition to the side. With spinners really coming to the fore this season, he's a must for the 'Canes to retain, and for SuperCoaches to select.
The Hurricanes will likely be looking for an international import replacement player with Joffra Archer certain to have qualified for English availability after renouncing his native West Indies. The Barbadian-born speedster is likely to be part of the English side's South African touring plans at the time of the 2019-20 BBL season.
Johan Botha retired mid-tournament, and George Bailey's nasty shoulder injury might see his fantastic domestic career come to a sad conclusion. The Hurricanes did well picking up James Faulkner from the Stars this season, but they may need to look to further bolster their bowling attack ahead of BBL|09; could they be one of the Big Bash teams sniffing around the Stars' Nepalese tweaker Sandeep Lamichhane?