The Sydney Thunder came up trumps in a top-table clash against the Hobart Hurricanes in the 31st encounter of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21. After being asked to bat, the Thunder piled a moderate score of 167 on the back of Usman Khawaja and Alex Ross’ innings before the late cameo of Ben Cutting lower in the order. Khawaja, alongside Alex Hales, took them to a flying start as the duo added 59 for the first wicket in 40 deliveries.
Having struck four boundaries in his 19-ball 21, Hales holed out to Nathan Ellis positioned at deep midwicket as he was trying to slog one away turning delivery of D’Arcy Short. The 59 for 1 soon slipped to 76 for 4 as the Thunder lost skipper Callum Ferguson in the immediately following over of Sandeep Lamichchane. Trying to work tossed up delivery over long-on, Ferguson picked Johan Botha soon after he got off the mark.
Ross and Cutting shine after Khawaja’s solid knock
The Thunder found themselves in a spot of bother when Khawaja, who fell a run short of his 50, was trapped LBW by Short soon after Sam Billings ended his innings by giving a simple return catch to Short, who finished with three wickets. Alex Ross, who slammed three sixes and a couple of boundaries in his 44 off 33, then added 34 for the fifth wicket with Arjun Nair, who scored 15 off 13 before being run out by Ellis in the 15th over. In to replace Nair, Ben Cutting took the attack to the opposition straightaway, bludgeoning 31 from just 14, as he added 57 in just 31 balls with Ross to power Thunder to 167 for 5.
Hurricanes’ collapse under pressure
Almost the entire top and middle-order of Hurricanes managed to get starts for themselves before a lower-order collapse, and even as D’Arcy Short (19 from 16) and Ben McDermott (22 from 12) added 36 for the opening stand, the lack of a guiding partnership during the chase led them to a 39-run loss. Nathan McAndrew was responsible for bringing down curtains on both the openers as he struck twice in the fourth over – he trapped McDermott LBW, whereas Short top-edged a simple catch to Ferguson at midwicket.
The only brief duration when the Hurricanes looked in control of things was when Dawid Malan joined Peter Handscomb for a 48-run stand for the third wicket. However, they lost both of them in a space of two overs as Malan (20 from 23), failing to find his rhythm, got cleaned up by Green, and Tanveer Sangha managed to lure Handscomb (30 from 24) out of his crease to get him stumped. Eyes were then struck on Colin Ingram and Tim David, however, the Thunder’s bowlers never allowed them to make a move on as they continued to bag wickets, and eventually managed to cut them 39 behind the target.
Here are the best tweets
— CricBlog ✍ (@cric_blog) January 7, 2021
— Stats Insider (@StatsInsider) January 7, 2021
Sydney Thunder. Continuing to get it done! #ThunderNation
— Cameron Bell (@CameronBell) January 7, 2021
Remember when the Sydney Thunder were the laughing stock
— Victor #StaySafe 🇦🇺 (@BigV2011WCE) January 7, 2021
A couple of 'interesting' actions in this match Sydney Thunder vs Hobart Hurricanes #bigbash
— Ian Pont (@Ponty100mph) January 7, 2021
Sydney Thunder showing good teamwork and coordination this season.
— Aravind (@netcitizen) January 7, 2021
Sandeep Lamichhane bowling figure vs Sydney Thunder..
Well played Nepalese Youngster.#BBL10
— Sankalpa (@SankalpaPaudel2) January 7, 2021
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