Crawley, Hardie bring heat to take wind out of Hurricanes and send Scorchers to top of BBL ladder

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Ashes Bazball star Zak Crawley and allrounder Aaron Hardie fought fire with fire to lift the Perth Scorchers to a nine-wicket win over the Chris Jordan-inspired Hobart Hurricanes at Optus Stadium.

The Hurricanes slumped to 4-28 and 7-107 following a stunning display from man of the match Jason Behrendorff (4-25) on Wednesday evening.

Aaron Hardie of the Scorchers plays a shot across the ground during the BBL match between Perth Scorchers and Hobart Hurricanes on Wednesday night.Credit: James Worsfold/Getty Images

But Jordan (59 off 20 balls) helped lift the Hurricanes to a competitive 8-172 by blasting a 17-ball half-century – the equal-fourth fastest in BBL history.

In reply, Hardie (85no off 44 balls) and Crawley (65no off 46 balls) combined for an unbeaten 157-run off 84 balls to lift the Scorchers to victory with 23 balls to spare.

Crawley, who averaged 53.3 for England at a strike rate of 88.7 during this year’s Ashes, starred in his first game for the Scorchers, cracking six fours and one six.

But Hardie was even more explosive, especially in the 13th over when he piled on 26 runs against spinner Paddy Dooley (0-44).

That over went 6, dot, 6, 6, 6, 2 to send the crowd into raptures.

The result lifted Perth – the defending champions – into equal top on the ladder with two wins and a no result from their first three games.

Hobart have lost their opening two games and face a battle to make the finals.

It was the Behrendorff show early as Hobart’s top-order crumbled.

Ben McDermott (4) was the first to fall when his slash went to third man, and next ball Behrendorff trapped Sam Hain lbw.

If it wasn’t for an inside edge, Tim David would have been sent packing as well and Behrendorff would have had a hat-trick.

“I play a bit with Timmy in the IPL and I played with him in some other competitions, so that would have been pretty sweet to take him for a hat-trick,” Behrendorff said.

David (12) cracked three boundaries – including two in the same Behrendorff over – before the left-arm paceman had his man caught off a skied shot.

Debutant Nikhil Chaudhary (40 off 31) and Mitchell Owen (28 off 22) helped settle the ship for Hobart, with Jordan providing the late fireworks.

“I didn’t even realise, funnily enough,” Jordan said of the speed of his half-century.

“I actually wasn’t looking up at the scoreboard at all. I just knew that against this team on their home patch we needed at least 160, 150.

“So that was my aim first and foremost, and then obviously I got on a little bit of a roll and just tried to keep it going.”

The Scorchers have concerns over the fitness of skipper Ashton Turner, who injured his right knee while bowling his first delivery.

Turner, who was picked up for a bargain $178,000 by Lucknow Super Giants in this week’s IPL auction, limped off the ground gingerly immediately after hurting his knee.

It was the same knee that affected Turner’s pre-season and resulted in him missing a Sheffield Shield clash.

Hobart entered the match without stars Matthew Wade (back) and Riley Meredith (side strain).


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