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BBL 2016-17, Match 16 Review: Eoin Morgan shines as Thunder clinch humdinger

Eoin Morgan of the Thunder
Eoin Morgan of the Thunder celebrates hitting a six to win the match. (Photo by Brett Hemmings – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

Eoin Morgan smashed an impressive and unbeaten 71 as the Sydney Thunder claimed a win from the final delivery of their encounter against the Melbourne Strikers. Requiring five runs to win from the final delivery, the England limited over’s skipper smashed Ben Hilfenhaus straight down the ground and into the sightscreen to ensure a win. This is also the defending champions’ first win this edition after having suffered four defeats on the spin.

The Melbourne Stars took the decision to bat first on an impressive batting surface as both openers Glenn Maxwell and Luke Wright got off to terrific starts. However, the fact of the matter remained that the high-risk cricket they were playing was certainly not conducive to the kind of batsmanship employed by the duo.

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Of course, they went on to stitch a partnership worth 49 and Maxwell did impress in his opening role. It was skipper Shane Watson who eventually brought an end to the Aussie all-rounder’s innings with a beautifully disguised slower delivery. What came next was a few years rolled back in the form of a Kevin Pietersen blitzkrieg.

Although there has been some talk of the 37-year old switching allegiances in recent times, he showed that he had certainly not lost any of his magical touches. It took just 37 deliveries for Pietersen to get the Stars back on track with some impressive batting acumen. It also took 7 boundaries and 2 massive heaves over the vast expanse of the Sydney Showground to ensure that the Stars were back on track.

Also read – Andre Rusell suffers a hamstring injury during the game against Melbourne Stars

The end of the innings, however, saw a flurry of wickets and a six from David Hussey to ensure that the Stars concluded on 166, an above par score gave the dew factor as well.

The Thunder got off to a terrible start when Aiden Blizzard and Shane Watson were dismissed in the first powerplay. Even Kurtis Patterson was not able to capitalize on the impressive start that he had made for himself when he too was sent back into the haven of the pavilion. However, the fact of the matter remained that the firepower was there down the batting order.

Andre Russell’s hamstring injury was something that did indeed stand in their way, but Eoin Morgan played the role of Mr. Dependable as he batted with Pat Cummins to ensure a win for the Thunder. Morgan’s innings was calculated and he seemingly knew when to pull the strings and play the big shots, something the Thunder will be hoping that he does in the matches to come to get their season back on track.

Brief Scores:

Melbourne Stars: 166/8 in 20 overs (K Pietersen 60; C Green 2/26)

Sydney Thunder: 168/4 in 20 overs (E Morgan 71*; B Hilfenhaus 2/39)

Man of the Match: Eoin Morgan

Here is the video of Morgan’s last ball six:

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