Matthew Wade smashed a glorious century as the Hobart Hurricanes beat the Adelaide Strikers by 10 runs to clinch a place in the Big Bash League's Eliminator.

Buoyed by solid efforts of 66 and 56 in his previous two outings, Wade found an entirely new level on Sunday, toying with the Strikers bowlers as he hit an unbeaten 130 off 61 balls, a career-best T20 score.

Wade's previous best in the shorter format was 88, but he went well beyond that in a team total of 217-1, setting Adelaide a daunting victory target.

The Strikers came up short, finishing eight wickets down.

The result means the Hurricanes will play the Eliminator against either Sydney Thunder or Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League finals, while Adelaide must face the winner of that contest after missing out on the chance to finish second.

 

UNTOUCHABLE WADE DAZZLES

Wade produced an innings for the ages at the Adelaide Oval.

In total, he hit 11 fours and seven sixes from 61 balls of pure mastery, as the 32-year-old left the Strikers looking clueless, particularly when knocking three successive boundaries off Wes Agar in the 17th over.

It was Wade's maiden T20 century, and the second-highest innings in Big Bash history, only trailing Marcus Stoinis' stunning unbeaten 147 from earlier this month.

As impressive as Wade was, he did not do it all alone – on another day D'Arcy Short might have been the man of the moment with his applaudable 72, as the pair's 203 partnership was only four adrift of the Big Bash record.

Their stand almost lasted the entire innings, but Short eventually fell in the penultimate over taken at long-on after not quite getting enough on Michael Neser's delivery, allowing Phil Salt to catch.

STRIKERS JUST FALL SHORT

Although the Hurricanes set a hefty total to chase, the Strikers seemed to be on track until the seventh over, with Salt and Travis Head posting a solid 79-run partnership following the early fall of Jake Weatherald in the second over – Macalister Wright taking the catch from Clive Rose's delivery.

The Strikers certainly piled the pressure on towards the end, with Alex Carey (39) and Jonathan Wells (15) hitting five boundaries between them in seven balls across the 15th and 16th overs.

But the commendable death skills of James Faulkner (1-35) and Nathan Ellis (2-36) upset the Strikers' flow, toppling Rashid Khan (eight), Carey (39), Matthew Short (six) and Neser (nine) in the final three overs.

Matthew Wade's rapid 66 and a superb knock from Macalister Wright set the stage for Hobart Hurricanes to edge out Melbourne Renegades in a thrilling Big Bash League encounter.

Needing a win to keep their slim hopes of a finals place alive, the Hurricanes were put into bat by their hosts at the Marvel Stadium in Tuesday's bottom-of-the-table clash.

But Hobart captain Wade immediately set about punishing the Renegades for that decision, smashing his way to 50 in just 22 deliveries before succumbing in the eighth over when he sliced to third man.

Wright, however, more than picked up the slack as the visitors kept up the pace, though Mohammad Nabi dismissed Jake Doran (4) before Cameron Boyce found the edge of David Miller's bat.

A full toss from Daniel Christian allowed Wright to surpass a half-century, with the batsman - ably supported by Ben McDermott (38) - finishing on 70 from 50 balls as the Renegades were set a target of 191.

Wade's Australia team-mate Marcus Harris had far less success as he went in the second over of Melbourne's innings, prior to the Renegades losing Sam Harper to a head injury.

Beau Webster (50) and Nabi (63) gave Melbourne hope with some huge shots late on but, with the home side requiring 12 to win from nine deliveries, the latter picked out Wright at deep midwicket after hitting two successive sixes.

Webster's mishit from a full toss dashed Melbourne's hopes further, with Nathan Ellis bouncing back from an expensive previous over to ensure the win.

HARPER BECOMES FIRST CONCUSSION SUB IN BBL

With Wade and Wright having done the business for the Hurricanes, the Renegades were dealt a huge blow when Harper was forced off in the fourth over.

The wicketkeeper - who suffered a severe concussion in a 2017 when Jake Lehmann accidentally struck him in the helmet with his bat - sustained a hefty blow to the head when he clattered into Ellis while scampering for a run.

Dr Trefor James and team physio Nick Adock were swiftly on the scene and, though Harper appeared to try and shake off their concerns, he was clearly unsteady on his feet and was subsequently taken off, with Tom Cooper his replacement.

Harper was then assessed in the changing rooms, before being taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure.

ELLIS HOLDS HIS NERVE

Nabi and Webster struck a combined 20 off of Ellis' penultimate over, taking the Renegades to within touching distance of victory.

But with Clive Rose having ended Nabi's impressive stand, Ellis regained his composure in a crucial final over, luring Webster into a poor shot before sealing the win with an exceptional dot ball under pressure on the fifth delivery.

It left the Renegades needing a six off the final ball to force a Super Over, but a fine yorker from Ellis ensured the win went to Hobart.

"What a finish, great finish from Nathan," player of the match Wright said. "It was a really good game."

Matt Renshaw produced a controversial moment of magic and Ben Cutting starred as the in-form Brisbane Heat beat Hobart Hurricanes by five wickets in the Big Bash League on Thursday.

Renshaw tipped a big hit from Matthew Wade in the air before jumping from behind the boundary to palm the ball up for Tom Banton to take the catch.

There was a shrug of the shoulders from Renshaw, but Wade had to depart for 61 in his first match of the tournament and the Hurricanes went on to post only 126-9 at The Gabba -  Josh Lalor taking 3-21.

Scott Boland claimed 3-16 to give the Hurricanes hope, yet they were comfortably beaten as Cutting made 43 not out and Jimmy Peirson an unbeaten 23 to seal victory for the Heat with 10 balls to spare.

Darren Lehmann's side are up to third after three consecutive victories, two of which have come against Hobart.

 

WADE DISMISSAL CAUSES A STIR

Renshaw showed great athleticism and quick thinking to set up a simple grab for Banton, but Wade's dismissal sparked a debate over the rules.

A tweet from the official Lord's and MCC account cleared up any doubts, stating: "The key moment is when he first touches the ball, which is inside the boundary. He's airborne for his second contact."

New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham was among those to call for a rule change and Wade would no doubt agree, having been sent on his way after clearing the rope twice in his first knock of the competition.

 

BRISBANE FEELING THE HEAT AFTER BOLAND BURST

It was very much game on after the Heat lost four wickets for only 19 runs.

Boland got rid of Max Bryant for 28 and collected a further two wickets in three balls when he had Renshaw caught behind before snaring Joe Burns later in the ninth over.

The Hurricanes were given another major lift when Chris Lynn was run out following a mix-up with Peirson, reducing the Heat to 71-5 in the 11th over.

 

BRISBANE CUT TO THE CHASE

Hobart were made to pay for a lack of runs, though, as Cutting and Peirson completed a successful run chase.

Cutting's best knock of the tournament and a measured innings from Peirson got Brisbane home - the pair putting on 60 for the sixth wicket.

The powerful Cutting - who also took three catches - was dropped by David Miller but the damage had already been done at that stage and he struck Thomas Rogers for a third six to end that match in emphatic fashion.

Australia are still considering their options at the top of the order ahead of the fourth Ashes Test against England, says chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.

The tourists were pegged back in the third match at Headingley as Ben Stokes' history-making innings levelled the series at 1-1 heading into the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Australia had already been forced into changes in their batting line-up due to Steve Smith's absence with concussion, while opener Cameron Bancroft was dropped in Leeds following a tough start to the series.

Smith will come back in for the next match but it appears unlikely he will be the only returning face, although Marnus Labuschagne will likely be retained after impressing in the former captain's absence.

A tour match victory over Derbyshire - secured on Saturday by an innings and 54 runs - increased Australia's options as Mitchell Marsh, batting at number three, made 74.

Hohns said: "This game has given us a lot more options. We'll get to Manchester, hopefully have a look at the pitch, and go through what options we do have - and they are plenty.

"There are a couple of headaches there, but nice headaches, of course, and the important thing is that we come up with a balanced team now to win this next Test match.

"The area up the top is not so much concerning but it's been difficult for both teams at the top of the order. That's an area we'll certainly be looking at.

"Mitchell Marsh has given us a good option today. All players are in contention."

Matthew Wade would appear to be at risk, having failed to build on his 110 in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston with three single-figure dismissals since.

"He played very well that innings he made a hundred," Hohns said. "Unfortunately things have not quite gone his way since then. That will certainly be an area we are having a look at."

Labuschagne is also a "prime contender", Hohns acknowledged, having impressed since becoming Smith's concussion substitute and making history in the process.

The selector would not rule out bowling changes either, even if Nathan Lyon is "no doubt at all" after giving Australia a scare by twisting his ankle in a training game of touch rugby.

Mitchell Starc – who took 3-46 and 4-39 against Derbyshire - is an obvious candidate to come into the side having sat out the first three Tests, with Hohns adding: "He's certainly given us a good option there.

"We'll have a look at the pitch, of course, and we have heard that it is renowned for being possibly the quickest in the country. That will all be taken into account.

"Right from the start of the tour it was made very clear what was expected of our bowlers and where we wanted them to bowl.

"Mitchell has taken all that on board and he was worked very, very hard to improve his game in that area.

"We all know he is an aggressor, so we can't expect him to change the way he bowls too much. But he is doing everything he possibly can to bowl in the right areas and the right channels."

Derbyshire started Saturday's play on 53-3 and were skittled for 112, with Marsh (2-5) and Peter Siddle (2-21) joining Starc in the wickets.

Steve Smith and Matthew Wade made sensational centuries as Australia took charge on the fourth day of the first Ashes Test and left England toiling at Edgbaston.

Former skipper Smith was once again the scourge of England with his sublime 142 seeing him become just the third Australian to make centuries in each innings of an away Ashes Test.

Stands of 130 and 126 with Travis Head (51) and Wade (110) saw Australia completely turn the tide of an enthralling opening contest, which England now can only realistically hope to draw.

The brilliance of Smith, who played with the ease of a man practicing in the nets, and Wade – who ended a wait for a Test century dating back to January 2013 – means an away win and an 18-year wait for an Australia victory at Edgbaston in any format is the likeliest outcome unless weather intervenes.

Australia declared on 487-7 to leave England, who were 13-0 at stumps, chasing a near-impossible 398 for victory and facing the daunting prospect of batting out a full day against the spin of Nathan Lyon on a deteriorating pitch.

Stuart Broad saw a couple of leg-before appeals against Head turned down and Smith found a gap in the field with a sliced, aerial cover drive on a morning of frustration for England.

Some hard running brought up their century stand, but Head's edge off Ben Stokes drew a sharp low catch from Jonny Bairstow.

Still Smith plugged away like the proverbial immoveable object and, having reached lunch on 98, quickly found the two runs he needed to bring up his century.

A couple of neat drives off the out-of-sorts Moeen Ali for boundaries preceded a desperate and woeful review against Smith on 125, with DRS showing the delivery was clearly doing too much.

Wade quietly punched his way to 50 off 70 balls before England finally made the crucial breakthrough by removing Smith, who clipped Chris Woakes behind with an attempted drive against the new ball.

It did little to stem the tide as Wade brought up three figures in the final session with a fine reverse sweep off the middle of the bat.

A pull straight to deep-backward square off Stokes finally ended Wade's knock and Tim Paine (34) - who passed 1,000 Test runs - was bowled through the gate by Moeen.

James Pattinson clubbed four sixes in an entertaining 48-ball 47 before Paine called the declaration.

Rory Burns and Jason Roy valiantly batted out the remaining seven overs in fading light, but a huge effort will be required if England are to avoid defeat in Birmingham.


SMITH TURNS THE TIDE AGAIN

How different things could be for England. Australia were 122-8 in the first innings before Smith's first century led the recovery. A first-innings lead of 90 may have been enough had it not been again for Smith's excellence, with Wade's knock also helping to hand the initiative to the visitors.


WADE MAKES HIS CASE

Wade's place in the Test side was questioned before the match and a score of one in the first innings did little to silence his doubters. But boy did Wade, who earned his spot by making 1021 runs in the 2018-19 Sheffield Shield, justify his place. With England so focused on Smith, Wade nonchalantly built his way to a three-figure score that was every bit as important as Smith's century.


MOMENT OF THE DAY

Smith could hardly have dreamed of a better return to the Test arena following his part in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked cricket. The incident will forever leave a stain on his legacy, but without his brilliance Australia would not be in this position. His century was reached with an exquisite lash through the covers off Broad, leading to a raise of the bat and an ear-to-ear grin.

Australia coach Justin Langer is confident Matthew Wade is "doing everything" to earn a recall to the Test fold for the Ashes.

Wade has not played for his country in any format for almost two years, yet he was called into their Cricket World Cup squad as a replacement for the injured Usman Khawaja.

And although the 31-year-old was unused in that tournament, he has scored three centuries in England in recent weeks - two for Australia A in List A fixtures and another for an XI in a first-class clash with England Lions.

Langer acknowledges Wade's hard work could yet be rewarded as he prepares to be involved in a clash between Australia and Australia A ahead of an announcement of the team for the first Ashes Test, which starts on August 1.

"There's a lot of talk about Wadey and his form, where he's batting and his wicketkeeping," Langer said. "He just keeps doing it. He's got three hundreds on this tour already - he's only batted six or seven times.

"He's doing everything we've asked of Australian cricketers. He's making runs, big runs, he's knocking that hard, he's got that look in his eye.

"Coming into a tough series like this, you like to see those fighting instincts. He's certainly banging very hard for selection."

Another man whose character was lauded by Langer on Monday was Tim Paine, who has retained the Test captaincy despite the return of previously suspended duo Steve Smith and David Warner.

"You talk about the toughest pretty boy I've met, he's very impressive," Langer said of Paine. "He's physically tough, helping to guide the boys through the past 12 months.

"To come back from almost not playing cricket to being Test captain says a lot about his character.

"I get on that well with him, we have a great relationship. I've always felt the relationship between the captain and coach is crucial - we're lucky to have a great relationship.

"He's very impressive and I know how focused and committed he is to this series, so I'm happy about that."

Australia won the toss and chose to bat first against England in Thursday's Cricket World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston.

The tournament hosts struggled badly when chasing against Aaron Finch's men during the group-stage defeat at Lord's, while they also showed frailties in failing to overhaul a moderate score in a shock loss to Sri Lanka at Headingley.

England captain Eoin Morgan confirmed his side was unchanged from the one that hammered New Zealand to seal a place in the semis, while Australia's sole alteration sees Peter Handscomb come in for the injured Usman Khawaja, as had been announced by head coach Justin Langer prior to the game.

There had been talk that Matthew Wade - called into the squad as Khawaja's replacement - may be selected ahead of Glenn Maxwell, but the all-rounder retained his place in the XI.

Not since 1992 have England gone this deep at the World Cup, while Australia are aiming to continue their perfect record in semi-finals, having progressed from all seven of their previous matches at this stage of the competition.

The victors will go through to Sunday's final at Lord's to face New Zealand, who sensationally defeated India at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Matthew Wade's place in Australia's Cricket World Cup squad as Usman Khawaja's replacement has been confirmed ahead of the semi-final with England at Edgbaston.

Khawaja's tournament was ended by a hamstring strain sustained in the final group game against South Africa and the defending champions had applied to the ICC for Wade to be brought in as his replacement.

The formalities for Wade's inclusion were completed on Wednesday, a day before the Aussies meet hosts England in the second semi-final.

Coach Justin Langer has already confirmed Peter Handscomb will replace Khawaja in his XI for the clash with England.

Wade, 31, has been in fine form having scored two centuries for Australia A in England last month.

He has not played an ODI in two years but reports suggest he could also come straight into the team at Edgbaston, possibly at the expense of all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.

Usman Khawaja has been ruled out of Australia's Cricket World Cup semi-final showdown with hosts England on Thursday.

Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis had scans after suffering respective hamstring and side injuries in the defeat to South Africa at Old Trafford.

Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh were called up as cover from the A squad earlier on Sunday ahead of their four-day match with Sussex.

Australia coach Justin Langer is uncertain on Stoinis' chances of facing England at Edgbaston but says Khawaja's World Cup is at an end, with Wade to replace him in the squad once the necessary paperwork is completed.

"It's such a pity for [Khawaja], for someone who's been so integral to how we've been playing," he said. "Like Shaun [Marsh, who broke his arm on Thursday] I feel that sad for him that he's going to miss the World Cup semi-final.

"Matthew Wade is coming up, he's in great form, he's had a great 12 or 18 months back home but he also just scored two hundreds [for Australia A] so he's in great nick.

"Mitch Marsh is going to come on standby for Marcus Stoinis just to see how he comes up… If they have to come in they'll be ready to step up."

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