Big Bash League: The English wicket-keeper Joe Clarke swirled a star-studded Mathew Wade-led Hobart Hurricanes in the 4th fixture of the Big Bash League and seized the opening points for Melbourne Stars in the points table.
In what was seemingly a belter of the track at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Matthew Wade flipped the right way and invited the home side to bat first.
Batting on a stiff surface, Stars’ openers Thomas Rogers and Joe Clarke started on an electrifying note as Rogers slashed left-armer Joel Paris for a boundary towards the deep backward point in the first over.
Soon after, the left-right composition of Rogers and Joe Clarke propelled 16 off the third over before right-handed Joe Clarke swatted Shadab Khan for two consecutive boundaries towards the sweeper cover fence and accumulated 46 off the four-over powerplay.
Big Bash League: Joe Clarke and Beau Webster Stabilized the Stars’ Innings
The 54-run opening partnership was ruptured by right-arm-leg-break Shadab Khan as Rogers 20 (13) clipped a loosener straight to long-on. The Hurricanes bowlers measured up to their ploys as Joe Clarke and Beau Webster at number three only forged three boundaries in the next five overs.
Clarke and Webster only stitched 36 runs off as many deliveries after the departure of Rogers and they were placed at 82/1 at the halfway mark, but the Hurricanes bowlers had a scant idea of what is to be transpired in the following overs.
When the 11th over embarked, the Nottinghamshire batter Joe Clarke brought up his fifty with a boundary of a top edge that flew over the keeper’s head soon followed by an overthrow by Shadab that raced towards the boundary rope.
However, the carnage did not cease there. Webster drilled Meredith for two consecutive boundaries; one over mid-on and the other one clobbered over deep mid-wicket before right-arm-fast Meredith claimed his retribution by dismissing Webster 24 (22).
Following Webster, the Melbourne Stars mislaid a couple of wickets but Joe Clarke kept marching on adjacent to the lower-middle order playing the second-fiddle. At the end of the 17th over, Joe Clarke was stationed at 81(57) before he dispatched a fuller delivery of Nathan Ellis to the boundary ropes followed by a 95-meter maximum over cow corner.
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The 26-year-old Joe Clarke plummeted a shorter delivery over the boundary cushion to commemorate his maiden BBL century. His 101 (66), including 9 fours and 4 maximums indemnified for the middle-overs fiasco and took the Stars’ total past 180. A scintillating hundred by Joe Clarke galvanized the home crowd into action and it was up to the Adam Zampa-led bowling attack to defend 183.
Big Bash League: Hobart Hurricanes Batter Succumbed to Pressure
In pursuit of a hefty total of 184, the Tasmania batter Ben Mcdermott and southpaw D Arcy Short were off to a sedate start as the duo 25 runs in the first 18 deliveries before Luke Wood drew first blood for Stars.
Captain Matthew Wade, the next man in, joined forces with Short 15 (15) for a brief period before he sliced one to the keeper. The Hobart Hurricanes never seemed settled since that and lost wickets at regular intervals but Wade orchestrated a run-a-ball 35 and kept Hobart in the hunt.
Eventually, Hurricanes were 38 runs short of the desired target. Left-arm pacer Luke Wood was the pick of the bowlers and finished his stint on 2/25 while captain Zampa also attained three breakthroughs.
Brief Scores: Melbourne Stars 183/5 (Joe Clarke 101, Beau Webster 24; Riley Meredith 2/38) beat Hobart Hurricanes 145/9 (Matthew Wade 35, Tim David 24; Luke Wood 3/25, Adam Zampa 3/26) by 38 runs.