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Winter Watch (w/e 10 Feb): Big Bash semi-final the next stop for Jofra Archer and the 'Cane Train

A fine bowling performance from Jofra Archer helped Hobart Hurricanes to a 16-run victory over Melbourne Renegades in their penultimate group game of this year’s Big Bash at the Bellerive Oval on Thursday. Batting at number seven, Jofra was caught behind for three in the closing stages of Hobart’s innings of 183-6. He then took the wickets of Marcus Harris and MacKenzie Harvey while giving away just 19 runs from his four overs as the Renegades were restricted to 167-8.

Signing autographs

In the Hurricanes’ final match on Saturday– and with the team already through to the semi-finals - Jofra took 1-22 from 3.2 overs as the Hurricanes lost only their fourth match of this year’s Big Bash against Sydney Thunder in Canberra. Nevertheless, Hobart finished as clear winners of the group stage with 20 points and will now welcome Melbourne Stars to the Bellerive Oval for the first semi-final on Thursday.

CJ v HH

Chris Jordan was part of the Thunder side that won that match against the Hurricanes. His four overs went for 34 runs and he executed the run out for 53 of the Hurricanes’ captain and top-scorer, George Bailey as the visitors made 165-4 batting first. CJ wasn’t required to bat as the Thunder secured victory with four wickets and ten balls to spare. Despite the win, the Thunder were eliminated having finished in sixth place and so CJ’s Big Bash came to an end. He finishes with five wickets from his seven matches.

Rashid Khan’s Adelaide Strikers won’t be defending their Big Bash title after they finished seventh, but they were able to finish their campaign on a high with a five-wicket victory over Perth Scorchers at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday. Rashid signed off his second season with the ‘Blue Energy’ in typically impressive style, taking 2-22 from his four overs as the Scorchers reached 174-6 off their 20 overs. Rashid was then on hand to hit the winning runs, finishing on two not out as the Strikers won with four balls remaining.

Rashid’s 19 scalps means he finishes the group stage as the tournament’s joint fifth highrst wicket taker. His economy rate of 6.14 was bettered only by his compatriot Mujeeb Ur Rahman, whose off-breaks cost the Brisbane Heat 6.04 runs per over.

Over in India, Danny Briggs was part of the England Lions side that drew their first unofficial Test against India A at the Krishnagiri Stadium in Wayanad last week. He made one batting at number nine as the Lions were dismissed for 340 after being put into bat. During India A’s reply of 540-6 declared, Danny took 2-144 from 30.5 overs. The Lions then made 214-5 in their second innings to make the game safe.

In Australian club cricket, the latest round of Victorian Premier cricket two-day matches was played over Saturday and Sunday. Luke Wells took a catch and bowled eleven tidy overs for 32 runs as Geelong made 279-7 declared against his Casey-South Melbourne side once the rain had cleared at Casey Fields. Luke then contributed 30 to an opening stand of 62 during the home side’s reply, but a middle-order collapse saw Casey bowled out for 261 and Geelong take the first-innings victory in the last over of the match.

George Garton was also in action, scoring 24 at number eight as Northcote were dismissed for 278 batting first away at Essendon. The left-arm quick bowled 16 overs for 78 runs during the Essendon innings, but wickets were hard to come by as the home team coasted to an eight-wicket victory.