Hobart, December 22: D'Arcy Short once again led the way for Hobart Hurricanes with a half-century that helped them make a winning start to the Big Bash League as they beat Brisbane Heat by 15 runs.
No one scored more runs than Short's 572 in the last BBL and he began this campaign with a 52-ball 67 to underpin Hobart's 159-6 in a contest reduced to 19 overs aside due to rain and hailstones.
Brisbane, who had lost their first game to Adelaide Strikers earlier this week, had looked well placed while Ben Cutting (58) was at the crease, but once he fell they ran out of steam and were dismissed for 144 with eight balls remaining.
Short's fruitful 59-run partnership with Ben McDermott (25) laid the foundations for Hobart and useful late contributions from George Bailey (22) and Simon Milenko (18) ensured Brisbane would be chasing 160 for victory.
Their key men Brendon McCullum (4) and skipper Chris Lynn (29) could not match Short's brilliance earlier and though Cutting gave Brisbane hope, he fell in the 18th over to Jofra Archer when failing to clear Bailey at long off.
Archer returned 2-23, while James Faulkner was the pick of the attack with 3-25, figures which included the final two Brisbane wickets.
SHORT STARTS WITH A BANG
Short was scintillating in Hobart's run to the 2017-18 BBL final. He scored 129 runs more than anyone else and had four half-centuries, including one in the final loss to Adelaide. The 28-year-old was not claimed in the IPL auction earlier this week but showed teams what they were missing out on with a knock here that included four fours and as many sixes.
McCULLUM RUN OUT PROVES COSTLY
Brisbane would have looked to McCullum to inspire them in their chase, but the opener lasted just four balls before being run out in farcical circumstances. McCullum was uninterested in a single as Max Bryant tried to dart through, leaving both men at the batting crease as the bails were whipped off at the non-striker's end. McCullum had grounded his foot inside the crease before Bryant got in, but McCullum was back out of it when the run out occurred and so he was the one that had to go.
NEW BAT BRINGS REWARDS FOR MILENKO
In the final over of Hobart's innings, Milenko's bat was split clean in two as he chased a wider delivery from the first ball he faced. His new willow proved to be sturdier, though, as he smashed maximums off two of the remaining three deliveries. And that pushed the Hurricanes to a total that ultimately proved beyond the Heat's reach.