Mates rematch a world away from where it started

Doherty and Bailey
Doherty and Bailey

XAVIER Doherty has  bowled competitively only once against his good mate, George Bailey.

That was for Launceston against South Launceston in the summer of 2000-01, with Bailey having the last laugh with his maiden century for South Launceston (126).

On top of that, he was given a life by Doherty, who dropped him off his own bowling.

The two will likely get their rematch later this month in an environment that is a world away from the NTCA No. 2 Ground.

This is set to occur on September 19, when Doherty and his Hobart Hurricanes teammates come up against their skipper, Bailey, who will be performing that role for his IPL side, Kings XI Punjab, in the Canes’ opening Champions League encounter in the Indian city of Mohali.

It’s a situation that 31-year-old Doherty, who has taken 45 wickets at 33.22 in 56 T20s with his left-arm orthodox, is looking forward to.

‘‘I’ve always had the philosophy that the pressure is on the batsmen in T20 cricket, so if he [Bailey] hits me for 20 off an over, that’s probably par,’’ said Doherty, formerly of George Town and Launceston.

‘‘But if he skies one off the first ball, that’s the end of his day, so he probably goes in under more pressure [than me].

‘‘Either way, it will be interesting to come up against him.

‘‘T20 cricket is about who is going well on the day, and it only takes one ball from me to get by him and his day is over, but he’ll probably need a few balls to get the upper hand [over me].’’

The Hurricanes will take a squad boosted by the news that Bailey is the only Hurricane forced to another franchise due to contractual reasons, after it was feared BBL player of the tournament Ben Dunk, former Test spearhead Ben Hilfenhaus and Pakistan’s Shoab Malik would also be in a colour other than purple.

Doherty believes it is a group that won’t just be ‘‘making up the numbers’’ in India in the official quest to find the best domestic T20 outfit.

‘‘When you look down our list there are match winners there, and in Twenty20 cricket you only need two or three of them to be in form over that couple-of-week period, and you are going to go a fair way through the tournament.

‘‘We’re certainly going over there to do as well as we can, and having a look at our team, there’s no reason why we can’t win two or three games, which would get us through to the next stage.

‘‘And from then on, it is whoever is best on the day.

‘‘We’ll be there to represent Cricket Tasmania and Tasmania as a whole, even though we are a Hobart team, we are representing the state of Tassie, and any success would give the state great exposure.’’

The  squad will spend 10 days together before that first game against Bailey’s Kings XI Punjab on September 19, with the Tasmania-based players (plus Travis Birt and Aiden Blizzard) to start training together this week.

The squad flies to India next Monday.


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