Ben Dunk (above) and Aiden Blizzard were the key players for Hobart Hurricanes in their victory over Cape Cobras. These two batsmen will have a task at hand when they face an in-form Northern Knights bowling unit © Getty Images (File Photo)
Ben Dunk (above) and Aiden Blizzard were the key players for Hobart Hurricanes in their victory over Cape Cobras. These two batsmen will have a task at hand when they face an in-form Northern Knights bowling unit © Getty Images (File Photo)

Hobart Hurricanes will take on Northern Knights in the ninth match of Champions League Twenty20 2014 (CLT20) at Raipur on Tuesday. Northern Knights are on a four-match winning streak in this edition of CLT20 and Hobart Hurricanes will have to produce a spirited performance in order to clinch a victory against New Zealand’s domestic T20 champions. Sameer Jha looks at the likely XI that Hurricanes will field for the match.

Top order: Ben Dunk seemed soaked with aggression in the match against Cape Cobras as he scored 54 from just 35 balls to give the Hurricanes the kind of momentum needed to chase down a target of 185. Dunk played well in the game against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) too and was starting to look in extremely good touch before falling to Thisara Perera.

Tim Paine, who is the wicketkeeper and captain of the side will open the batting alongside Dunk. Paine has been handed the captaincy responsibility in the absence of Geroge Bailey, who has chosen to play for KXIP instead. Paine hasn’t impressed too much in the opening two matches, and will be hoping to make a bigger impact against the Knights.

Aiden Blizzard, who played a massive role in helping the Hurricanes win against the Cobras is slated to come in at No 3. He’ll look to continue his blistering form against Knights too.

Middle order: Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik hasn’t really clicked in the opening two matches for the Hurricanes, but he will definitely feature in the middle-order courtesy his years of experience in international cricket. Malik will look to come good against the Northern Knights, and help Hobart score at a brisk pace. He’d find support from Travis Birt and Jonathan Wells, both of  whom are capable of demolishing bowlers. Birt and Wells formed a decent partnership against KXIP (52 runs in just 31 balls) and their effort was praiseworthy.

Bowling: All-rounder Joe Mennie replaced Cameron Boyce in the game against the Cobras, and took the crucial wicket of Cobras’ captain Justin Ontong. He is likely to be given another chance to prove his mettle.

Doug Bollinger and Ben Hilfenhaus, who have represented Australia on many occasions, will continue to spearhead the bowling attack and look to provide them the crucial breakthroughs early in the game. Bollinger took the wicket of Virender Sehwag in the very first ball of KXIP innings, and would like to inflict similar humiliation on Kane Williamson and Anton Devcic too. Ben Laughlin, who dismissed the dangerous Richard Levi against the Knights will fill in as the third pacer.

Xavier Douherty is likely to be their main spinner, and would like to stem the flow of runs in order to create pressure on the batsman.

Changes –  The Hobart Hurricanes team are likely to keep their winning combination, and not make any changes to the side they fielded against Cape Cobras.

Likely playing XI: Ben Dunk, Tim Paine (c&wk), Aiden Blizzard, Shoaib Malik, Travis Birt, Jonathan Wells, Joe Mennie, Ben Laughlin, Xavier Douherty, Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Sameer Jha is a reporter at CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter at @SameerJha_)