The difference in the outcome of Tuesday’s result in Group B of the 2014 CLT20 between Australians the Hobart Hurricanes and their rivals from across the Tasman Sea, the Kiwis of the Northern Knights is immense.
Should the Hurricanes will the fixture at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium, Raipur then they will have opened the door, if not exactly kicked it down, to a semi-final place, as they will advance to two wins and a defeat with one fixture remaining.
If the Knights prove victorious, the door will be firmly shut in the Australians faces, as the best that they hope for then, is to finish the group phase with two wins, and the Knights and the Kings XI will already have secure two victories with two games each remaining.
Due to the New Zealand champions having to pre-qualify for the main draw, the Knights have already played four matches since arriving in India, and have won all four in fairly emphatic fashion. Including a win against the Mumbai Indians, that eliminated the holders from the tournament, and an opening group B success against the Cobras.
Although the Knights defeated the Cobras on the Duckworth-Lewis method due to the weather, in truth, the intervention of the weather probably saved the South Africans from a far worse mauling.
That the Hurricanes are still competitive in the tournament probably comes down to one ball in their game in their must win game against the Cobras on Sunday.
The Cobras had batted first and set a highly competitive 184 for 6, knowing that they too required a win to retain any interest in the competition.
In the 18th over, with 38 still needed from 18 balls, Aiden Blizzard who had just reached his fifty was dismissed by Vernon Philander. However, as he traipsed off the pitch, he was asked to wait as the umpire checked for a no-ball. Philander had overstepped, and the game changed.
Blizzard smashed the free-hit for a gigantic six over square leg, the over went for 24, the Cobras fell apart and the Hurricanes accelerated to victory with a full over to spare, and revive their hopes of making the knockout stage.