Hobart Hurricanes’ disappointing start to the Big Bash League continued as they slumped to a four-wicket defeat to Sydney Thunder.
Semi-finalists last season and runners-up the campaign before that, the Hurricanes suffered their fifth loss in eight matches on Saturday.
The Hurricanes set a competitive total of 162-6 at the Sydney Showground Stadium, but an opening-wicket partnership of 96 between Alex Hales and Usman Khawaja set the platform for the Thunder to reach their target with two balls to spare.
Poor shot selection in the closing overs made the conclusion nervier than it should have been, but the Thunder did enough to secure their fourth win of the season.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 11, 2020
BAILEY & MCDERMOTT GET THINGS GOING
The Hurricanes made an underwhelming start to their innings, which had little momentum when Simon Milenko was bowled by a low full toss from Chris Morris to leave them three down.
Former Australia limited-overs captain George Bailey (43) and Ben McDermott (33) gave the Hurricanes some much-needed impetus with a stand of 64 for the fourth wicket.
Daniel Sams eventually broke their partnership but Clive Rose’s five-ball 14, which saw him hit two fours and a six, got them beyond the 160 mark.
HALES & KHAWAJA LAY THE FOUNDATION
If the Hurricanes were upbeat after a spirited second half of their innings, that feeling quickly dissipated as Hales and Khawaja combined superbly.
Hales struck six fours and a pair of sixes in a 55 that earned him the man of the match award, while Khawaja hit 35 off 29 deliveries.
Their excellent start got the Thunder ahead of the game, though the chase was not as serene was it should have been thereafter.
ROSS THE BOSS
Hales hit out to long off from Rose and Khawaja followed him in the next over when he was caught at deep square, and the subsequent quick exits of Callum Ferguson (7) and Matthew Gilkes (5) gave Hobart at least some hope.
However, Alex Ross held the innings together with a 22-ball 32 and it was he who finished things off in style.
Needing two from the final three balls, Ross cut a length ball to the backward point boundary to ensure there would be no dramatic late turnaround.