HYDERABAD

Aiden Blizzard enhanced his reputation as a belligerent batsman as his unbeaten 78 proved to be the catalyst of Hobart Hurricanes' six-wicket victory over Cape Cobras in their Group A encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday. Set a tough 185 to register their first victory, Blizzard's 48-ball blitz carried the Australian team home with an over to spare, leaving the Cobras with a slim chance of making the semi-finals of the Champions League T20.

Vernon Philander and Robin Peterson had combined to take 52 from the last four overs earlier, and with the match in balance at a similar juncture, Blizzard teed off in the last two overs. Needing 44 from the last three after Charl Lengeveldt conceded just six from the 17th, Blizzard brought up his half-century with a six off Philander in the next, and should have been back in the dugout the next ball when he was caught at long-on, only for Philander to overstep.

Instead, Blizzard took 24 from that over, and with the equation down to 20 from the next two, Blizzard and Jonathan Wells finished it off in Langeveldt's next to get over the line with an over to spare. The Cobras' earlier assault on the Hurricanes bowling had pointed to a belter of a batting deck, and they blazed away at the start with Ben Dunk laying a solid platform. Dunk's 35-ball 54 had laid a solid platform in their chase, but the Cobras' decision to operate with spinners in the middle overs brought them back in the game, with Sybrand Engelbrecht taking 3 for 20 in his four overs, but the reintroduction of Langeveldt and Philander brought the Hurricanes back as Blizzard took heavy toll on the experienced South African pace duo.

After being subjected to a Kane Williamson masterclass in their opening match, the Cobras appeared to have begun well with the bat. Richard Levi celebrated his selection in the Cobras XI with a typically hard-hitting 42, his 30-ball knock at the top setting up his team to a strong total of 184 for 6 after captain Justin Ontong had decided to bat. Despite the early wicket of Hashim Amla, the Cobras began brightly, went through a period of regular setbacks and then were given a last-minute impetus by the lower order. Ben Hilfenhaus bowled Amla in his first over but Levi and Omphile Ramela - both included into the side after missing the first game - took the attack to the Hurricanes bowling attack that included Ramela laying into Doug Bollinger, smashing him for two sixes and a four, but his adventurous stay at the crease was shortlived the very next ball.

Four of the six wickets that fell during the Cobras innings were bowled, indicating the Hurricanes' effort to bowl straighter.

Dane Vilas and Ongtong's wickets meant the Cobras slumped to 119 for 5 after Levi departed, and the wicket of Sybrand Engelbrecht shortly after swung the momentum in the Hurricanes' favour, but Robin Peterson (25*, 14b, 2x4, 1x6) and Vernon Philander (32*, 14b, 5x4, 1x6) - not primarily known for their skills with the bat - took 52 runs from the last four overs to wrest back the initiative, and end the innings strongly.

Scoreboard

CAPE COBRAS:

R Levi c Mennie b Laughlin    42

H Amla b Hilfenhaus    8

O Ramela b Bollinger    21

D Vilas b Hilfenhaus    25

J Ontong b Mennie    10

S Engelbrecht c Paine b Laughlin    12

R Peterson not out    25

V Philander not out    32

EXTRAS: (lb1, w8)    9

TOTAL: (6 wkts; 20 overs)    184

FOW: 1-12, 2-39, 3-87, 4-106, 5-119, 6-132

BOWLING: D Bollinger 4-0-39-1, B Hilfenhaus 4-0-49-2, X Doherty 4-0-29-0, J Mennie 2-0-20-1, B Laughlin 4-0-31-2, Shoaib Malik 2-0-15-0

HOBART HURRICANES:

B Dunk c Ontong b Engelbrecht    54

T Paine b Langeveldt    7

A Blizzard not out    78

Shoaib Malik c Philander b Engelbrecht    8

T Birt c Ramela b Engelbrecht    7

J Wells not out    17

EXTRAS: (lb3, w10, nb2)    15

TOTAL: (4 wkts; 19 overs)    186

FOW: 1-51, 2-91, 3-109, 4-121 

BOWLING: D Piedt 1.5-0-13-0, C Langeveldt 4-0-43-1, V Philander 3-0-42-0, R Peterson 3-0-37-0, H Amla 0.1-0-1-0, A Mgijima 1-0-13-0, S Engelbrecht 4-0-20-3, J Ontong 2-0-14-0

TOSS: Cape Cobras

MAN OF MATCH: A Blizzard

UMPIRES: A Chaudhary, C Shamshuddin

TV UMPIRE: H Dharmasena (SL)

MATCH REFEREE: A Pycroft (Zim)