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Hobart target Hales in BBL do-or-die final

By AAP Newswire

Hobart Hurricanes skipper Matthew Wade has put a target on explosive Sydney Thunder opener Alex Hales ahead of their do-or-die BBL finals encounter.

The in-form Hobart host Sydney at Bellerive Oval on Thursday night, with both sides bristling with top-order firepower.

The Hurricanes beat the Thunder at the same ground by 57 runs last week, though Hales emphasised his threat during an unsuccessful chase with 63 from 42 balls.

"He's hitting the ball long and out of the park," Wade said of the tournament's equal second-highest run scorer.

"If we can take of business early and get him, I feel we can get right into them."

The victors will travel to Adelaide to play the Strikers on Saturday in another elimination playoff, while the loser's season is over.

Three straight wins and a host of favourable results catapulted the Hurricanes to fourth spot on the table and into an unlikely home final.

It's a different feel from this time last summer, when the men in purple finished runaway ladder leaders only to be knocked out in the first semi-final.

Coach Adam Griffith said confidence was high in the camp after the returns of D'Arcy Short (international duties) and James Faulkner (injury).

"When we play our best, we're as good as any team in the comp," Griffith said.

"The last three games we've taken some great confidence out of it.

"We've played in different conditions and had to win in different ways. That will hold us in good stead, hopefully."

Wade, who is on a hot run of form with 252 runs from his last three matches, has reunited with Short at the top of order.

The pair put on a brutal 203-run first-wicket stand, the second highest in BBL history, in Hobart's final regular season win over Adelaide.

"The way he plays and the way I play, it just works. We hit the balls in different areas. Fingers crossed we can do it again," Wade said.

Thunder quick Daniel Sams, the competition's leading wicket taker, said it was important his fellow bowlers stuck to their plans.

"The main thing is realising even if you do get hit, you've got your next ball," he told reporters.

Sydney have added paceman Brendan Doggett to their 13-man squad at the expense of Gurinder Sandhu, who was clobbered for 46 from three overs by Hobart when they last met.

For the Hurricanes, either Jake Doran or Simon Milenko will replace import David Miller, who has returned to South Africa.