Historic night for Sydney Thunder as they continue unbeaten start to BBL05
In the first four seasons of the Big Bash League the Sydney Thunder won a combined total of five games.
But the Thunder’s fortunes look to be changing for the better in the fifth season of the competition after they claimed their third straight win from as many matches to move to the top of the ladder courtesy of a crushing win over the Adelaide Strikers at Sydney’s Spotless Stadium.
It’s the first time in their history that the Thunder has won three consecutive matches. They opened BBL04 with back-to-back wins but failed to win another match for the rest of that campaign.
A sell-out crowd of 21,500 saw a ruthless bowling performance by the Thunder, who restricted the previously unbeaten Strikers to a paltry total of 9-117 from their 20 overs.
Andre Russell started the rot by dismissing Tim Ludemann on the first ball of the innings and wickets continued to tumble at a regular rate as Thunder captain Mike Hussey kept the pressure on and was superbly backed up by his bowlers.
Captain Brad Hodge (34) and Adil Rashid (25) were the only Strikers batsman that looked like getting on top of the Thunder attack.
Clint McKay (2-18) claimed both his wickets in the final over while Russell (2-28), leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed (1-14, four overs) and veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis (1-15, three overs) did the damage in the early to middle stages of Adelaide’s innings.
Ben Rohrer was dynamic in the field, combining with wicketkeeper Chris Hartley for the run outs of Mahela Jayawardene (21) and Michael Neser (2).
The Thunder were untroubled in their run chase with Aiden Blizzard (35 off 29 balls) and Kallis putting on 66 for the opening partnership to lay the platform for victory.
Kallis struck three boundaries and two sixes to finish unbeaten on 49 in a man-of-the match performance.
Russell also capped off his night by smashing two mammoth sixes in a quick-fire knock of 17 balls from seven balls before he was caught attempting to win the game with another big shot in the shadows of victory.
Ben Laughlin (2-222) was the only multiple wicket taker for the Strikers.