24 hours after an Alex slammed an outstanding century, a thunderous 110 from another Alex (read Hales) alongside some spectacular cameos from the middle-order guided the Sydney Thunder to a whopping 232 for 5 – surpassing Hobart Hurricanes’ 223 for 8 in 2017 to set the new highest team score in BBL history – in the 48th game, against their Sydney counterpart – Sixers.
A fairly decent bowling lineup of the table-toppers had no answers to the disdainful havoc wreaked by the Thunder’s batsmen, none of whom struck lower than a strike rate of 150. After a quiet first over, which saw Hales playing four dots, he got into his groove in the second over bowled by Steeve O’Keefe, slamming the pacer for three boundaries and a six. A 17-run third over of Jackson Bird took the Thunder to 37, which is when Usman Khawaja ended his brief outing of 6 balls, giving a catch to O’Keefe at third-man off Ben Dwarshuis.
Hales’ merciless onslaught
The breakthrough did no change in momentum as the new man, Callum Ferguson, collaborated with a berserk Hales for a 69-run stand for the second wicket. Ferguson (42 from 23) barely took time to launch an assault against the hapless Sixers, and he slammed three sixes and as many fours before holing out a Llyod Pope delivery to midwicket in the 10th over.
The wicket led to a brief slowdown in the scoring pace, although the lid did not stay on for too long as Sam Billings teed off alongside Hales. Slamming a six and four in the 15th over, bowled by O’Keefe, the Thunder made up for the slight decline. However, Billings (33 from 21) deposited a slower ball from Dwarshuis in the next over straight to Dan Christian at long-on to bring his 53-run stand with Hales to an end.
It only took 14 balls for Ben Cutting to race off to 33, hitting three sixes and two fours, in what was the third consecutive 50-plus stand by Thunder. As if there was any dearth of power in this innings, the Thunder invoked the Power Surge in the 18th over, which witnessed another carnage by Hales: 4, 6, 4, 4, and he brought up his century off just 51 balls. He finally stopped at 110, picking up Jordan Silk in the deep off Brathwaite. Ben Cutting then slammed Dwarshuis for another six and four in the final over, before holing out to long-off.
Sixers’ perennial catchup
During the chase, Josh Philippe and James Vince counterattacked with immense positivity, adding a brisk 40 runs for the first wicket. Although, not even a desperate dive could save Philippe (20 from 11), who was cut short by a brilliant piece of fielding. Though Vince continued striking the ball hard, hitting 7 fours in his 23-ball 38, he holed out one from Tanveer Sangha at long-off soon after Ben Cutting cleaned up skipper Daniel Hughes. It was not until the 16th over that the Sixers lost another wicket as Moises Henriques and Jordan Silk added 90 from 60 for the third wicket.
Henriques took some time before getting into his rhythm, although once he did, he was able to smack some delectable strokes. Slamming 7 boundaries and a six in his 56-run knock, he fell to an excellent catch by wicketkeeper Sam Billings off Sangha to leave his side 152 for 4. Daniel Christian (21 from 16) gave some company to Silk, who scored 42 from 30, however, the 232-run chase was always perennial catchup. Sixers eventually fell short by a fair margin of 46 as Thunder climbed to the third spot.
Here are the best tweets:
Alex Hales has just smoked a 56-ball 110 in #BBL10, striking eight sixes and nine fours.
Would you like to see him back in an England shirt? pic.twitter.com/mYWQfhEK4K
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) January 22, 2021
National selector Ed Smith on Alex Hales (from yesterday): “At the moment, I would expect things to stay as they are there."
— Vithushan Ehantharajah (@Vitu_E) January 22, 2021
Alex Hales in Big Bash 2020-21:
– Most runs.
– Highest score.
– Most hundred with Carey.
– Most sixes.
– Most fours with Philippe. pic.twitter.com/oGlR0IlTK3
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 22, 2021
Hundred for Alex Hales, he is giving headaches to Morgan, 102* from 51 balls including 9 fours and 7 sixes against Sydney Sixers. Well played, Hales.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 22, 2021
What a knock from the Englishman, 110 in just 56 balls from Alex Hales. A terrific knock just before the Indian series and IPL auctions. pic.twitter.com/qVsXZ4PnPW
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) January 22, 2021
Alex Hales is going to make us have the conversation.
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) January 22, 2021
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) January 22, 2021
Alex Hales in the IPL please
— Arjun (@ArjunNamboo) January 22, 2021
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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