BBL 2016-17, Match 20 Review: Watson and bowlers keep the Sydney Thunder afloat

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George Bailey of the Hurricanes
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George Bailey of the Hurricanes. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

In a battle between two bottom-placed sides in the competition, Sydney Thunder kept their hopes alive and defeated the Hobart Hurricanes comprehensively by 6 wickets at the Bellerive Oval today. Courtesy a brilliant match-winning half-century by Shane Watson and impressive performance from the bowlers, the Sydney Thunders romped home by 6 wickets and with 19 deliveries to spare. While George Bailey was the top scorer for the Hobart Hurricanes with a fluent 69, Cameron Boyce was the pick of the Hurricanes’ bowlers finishing with 2/28 in 3.5 overs.

Sydney Thunder’s Captain Shane Watson won the toss and put the oppositions in. The hosts got off to the worst possible start losing opener Tim Paine in the 5th delivery of the innings. It was not a great delivery from McKay by any stress of imagination but Paine failed to keep a wide delivery down and ended up hitting it straight to the extra cover fielder. The misery continued for the hosts as they lost their other opener D’Archy Short without bothering the scorers. Precariously placed at 10/2, George Bailey joined Ben McDermott in the middle.

Both the batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking along and was hitting boundaries almost every over. While McDermott struck a couple of boundaries in the 4th over of Carlos Brathwaite Bailey followed it up with two more in the 6th over of Pat Cummins. McDermott was eventually dismissed by Fawad Ahmed in the 1st delivery of the 8th over after hitting a monstrous six in the previous over of Chris Green. Daniel Christian came in at the fall of McDermott’s wicket but looked out of sorts. He couldn’t time the ball properly and ultimately gave way his wicket rather cheaply in the 13th over.

Despite wickets falling at regular intervals George Bailey kept going and completed a good half-century by hitting a monstrous six of Shane Watson in the 17th over. Jonathan Wells chipped in with a quickfire 26 in 17 balls to propel the Hurricanes’ score to 161/8 in their allotted 20 overs.

Also read: Twitter Reactions: Shane Watson and James Vince guide Thunder to victory

Chasing a tricky 162 to win, the Sydney Thunders began in a rollicking fashion with both openers going after the Hurricanes’ bowlers mercilessly. James Vince struck a delightful stroke in the 2nd delivery of the innings which set the things rolling as far as the visitors were concerned. Shaun Tait received special treatment from both the batsmen as Kurtis Patterson and James Vince struck three delightful boundaries in the 4th over of the innings. Vince followed it up with a six and a four of the very next over of Clive Rose. Patterson finally gave away his wicket in the 7th over of the innings to Stuart Broad. The ball pitched in the good length area and moved just a bit to take the outside edge of the bat which was safely pouched by Tim Paine behind the wickets.

Shane Watson joined Vince in the middle with the score at 62/1 in 6.2 overs. With the score at 80, Vince was dismissed in the 10th over of the innings of the bowling of Cameron Boyce. Vince connected the sweep shot but failed to keep it down which was safely caught by the deep square leg fielder. Shane Watson who had a slow start finally pressed on the accelerator as he smashed Shaun Tait for a couple of sixes and a four in the 11th over of the innings.

Watson kept going and completed a magnificent half-century of 30 deliveries. Just after completing his fifty he was dismissed by Dan Christian in the final delivery of the same over but by then he had taken the Thunders to a touching distance of the victory target. The winning shots were struck by Pat Cummins in the final delivery of the 17th win. It was a much-needed victory for the Thunder which still keeps them in the reckoning for a Semi-Final berth.

Watch: Carlos Brathwaite performs a triple-dab

Brief Scores

Hobart Hurricanes 161/8 in 20 overs (George Bailey 69, Carlos Brathwaite 2/31)

Sydney Thunder 162/4 in 16.5 overs (Shane Watson 55, Cameron Boyce 2/28)

Sydney Thunder won by 6 wickets 9with 19 balls remaining)

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