Hobart’s Big Bash League finals hopes are alive after holding out Melbourne Renegades by four runs in a drama-packed battle at Marvel Stadium.
The Hurricanes appeared to have Tuesday night’s match in the bag before a surging 85-run partnership from Mohammad Nabi and Beau Webster almost pinched the game for the hosts.
Nabi blasted 63 from 30 balls, but the Afghani and Webster (50) fell at the death as the Hurricanes survived the onslaught with Nathan Ellis (1-37) holding firm when bowling the final over.
While the Renegades slumped to a 10th defeat in an unhappy title defence, their immediate attention is with the health of wicketkeeper Sam Harper.
The 23-year-old collided heavily while batting and became the first player subbed out of a BBL game – replaced by Tom Cooper – and was taken to hospital with concussion.
Harper, who suffered a serious concussion during a Sheffield Shield game in 2017, was assessed by medical staff after toppling over Ellis when attempting to complete a run.
“It’s a pretty extraordinary incident – I’ve never seen someone on a cricket field get concussed like that before,” Renegades coach Michael Klinger told Channel Seven.
After Harper left the field in the fourth over, Shaun Marsh attempted to lift the Renegades to their third straight win with some power hitting.
But hampered by a suspected hamstring injury, Marsh’s third half-century of the BBL season ended on 56 with one slog too many as he tried to avoid quick singles.
Earlier, the Hurricanes blasted their way to 3-190 via some fireworks from Matthew Wade after the Renegades sent them into bat.
The Australian Test player inspired the Hurricanes to their best ever BBL power play, with the Tasmanian franchise smashing 0-78 from the first six overs.
Wade’s 50 came from just 22 balls, but the Hurricanes’ momentum stalled during the middle overs after he was dismissed for 66.
Unheralded opener Macalister Wright hung in, picking up the run rate late in his maiden BBL half-century to carry his bat with an unbeaten 70 from 50 balls.