Hilfenhaus stars as Hurricanes coast to victory

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Ben Hilfenhaus tore through the Northern Knights top order as the Hobart Hurricanes secured a massive 86-run victory in the Champions League Twenty20 in Raipur.

The win was set up with a superb batting performance after the Hurricanes were sent in by Knights captain Daniel Flynn.

The Aussies did not make the best of starts, with opener Ben Dunk dismissed for 12 by Scott Kuggeleijn with the score on 21/1 in the sixth over.

Tim Paine was joined at the crease by Aiden Blizzard and the duo added another 47 runs before Paine was caught at long-off for 43 in the 11th over, with the run rate still only hovering at around six an over.

That brought the dangerous Shoaib Malik to the crease, however, and together with Blizzard the pair set about raising the total to something far more respectable in the final nine overs.

Blizzard scored a superb 62 runs off just 43 deliveries before he was finally dismissed in the 20th over, while Malik smashed the Knights all across the park as he ended on 45 not out from just 22 deliveries.

That helped the Hurricanes to a highly competitive 178/3 at the end of their innings, and it would prove to be more than enough after the match was all but killed as a contest within the first seven overs of the Knights’ response.

Joe Mennie provided the first breakthrough, dismissing Anton Devcich with the final ball of his first over, but from that point on it was all Hilfenhaus, as the seamer seized the game by the scruff of the neck.

Hilfenhaus struck twice in successive balls in the following over, sending both Kane Williamson and Daniel Flynn back to the pavilion, before returning for his final over and also claiming the scalp of BJ Watling.

That left the Knights reeling on 19/4 after 6.4 overs, and it was always going to be a tough ask from there.

Scott Styris and Daryl Mitchell were forced to consolidate and be more circumspect and though the wickets stopped falling, the required run rate did not.

Mitchell was eventually dismissed for just nine off 20 balls, and while Styris did his best to up the tempo, it was fast becoming a lost cause for the Knights.

Kuggeleijn lasted just a few balls, bringing Tim Southee to the crease, but he and Styris needed to go at more than 18 runs an over in the last six with just four wickets remaining.

It all ended in the 17th over as the Knights tried in vain to reach the target, with Doug Bollinger picking up three wickets in the space of just four balls to hand the Hurricanes a commanding 86-run victory.

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