Ben Hilfenhaus took three for 14 to leave Northern Knights in disarray © PTI (File Photo)
Ben Hilfenhaus took three for 14 to leave Northern Knights in disarray © PTI (File Photo)

By Shiamak Unwalla

Sep 23, 2014

Hobart Hurricanes completely decimated the Northern Knights by 86 runs in the ninth match of the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 at Raipur on Tuesday. After a late blitz from the duo of Aiden Blizzard and Shoaib Malik, Ben Hilfenhaus led the Hurricanes bowlers in routing the Knights for a paltry 92.

Knights’ openers, Anton Devcich and Kane Williamson, as well as No 4 batsman Daniel Flynn, were dismissed by just the third over. Devcich was caught brilliantly by Ben Laughlin off Joe Mennie in what turned out to be a wicket-maiden. Ben Hilfenhaus then had Williamson out caught by Xavier Doherty before cleaning up Flynn first ball with a terrific swinging yorker.

One after another, Knights batsmen came in and went out as none barring Scott Styris — who achieved a personal landmark during his innings — and Tim Southee even got to double figures. Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger ravaged the Knights, running through the line-up like a hot knife through particularly weak butter. In the end, the Hurricanes cantered to an almost efforless win.

The Hurricanes were off to a surprisingly slow start as openers Ben Dunk and Tim Paine were unable to get the ball off the square, while the combination of Trent Boult and Tim Southee kept things quiet. Even the introduction of Scott Styris, playing his 199th T20 match, was not enough to boost the Hurricanes’ run rate, as they trudged to a mere 20 for no loss after five overs. Soon, Ben Dunk was dismissed, caught by Southee off Scott Kuggeleijn.

Dunk’s dismissal seemed to galvanize Paine, as he immediately switched gears and started scoring quickly. The next five overs yielded 45, as Paine and Blizzard kept finding the fence. However, Ish Sodhi got the better of Paine in the 11th over, as he got Paine to slice a ball to the younger Boult in the deep for a good 34-ball 43.

The period that followed, though, was a productive one for Hobart, as Blizzard and new man Shoaib Malik managed to pick up their scoring rate considerably. Blizzard, now the leading run-scorer of the CLT20 2014 playoffs, started to score at a decent strike rate after failing to find his timing early on in his innings. His fifty came off just 29 balls, and was followed by four back-to-back boundaries off Trent Boult, who conceded 21 runs off his final over. Meanwhile, Malik went about almost unnoticed, scoring an equally crucial unbeaten 45 off just 22 balls.

Earlier, the Northern Knights won the toss and elected to bowl first. Off-spinner Jono Boult — older brother of Trent — came in to the side for the Knights, who are currently undefeated in the CLT20 2014 since the qualifiers.

Brief scores:

Hobart Hurricanes 178 for 3 in 20 overs (Tim Paine 43, Aiden Blizzard 62, Shoaib Malik 45*; Scott Kuggeleijn 1 for 22, Ish Sodhi 1 for 21, Tim Southee 1 for 30) beat Northern Knights 92 in 16.4 overs (Scott Styris 37; Ben Hilfenhaus 3 for 14, Doug Bollinger 3 for 22) by 86 runs.

Man of the Match: Ben Hilfenhaus

Full Scorecard

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with CricketCountry. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on Twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)