Oliver Davies and Alex Hales both played outstanding innings to help Sydney Thunder achieve the fourth-highest total in BBL history and thrash Hobart Hurricanes by a margin of 62 runs. Before Matthew Wade’s own rapid-fire effort had Hurricanes in the game up to their necks and prepared to smash the record for largest-ever BBL chase, Thunder ended 228 for 6 in the match.
But when Wade’s wicket was taken by forgotten all-rounder Ben Cutting and the tail was shredded by Brendan Doggett, Thunder moved in on their third straight victory and put their mediocre summer start firmly in the rearview mirror.
English opener Hales provided the steady hand when the Thunder were put in as Davies blazed to the first half-century in his early BBL career on a very batter-friendly track at Albury’s Lavington Sports Ground.
Davies seemed especially eager to take advantage of the short boundaries down the ground, but only Nathan Ellis was able to regularly disturb the batting order. Before being caught by Paddy Dooley at backward point off of Ellis’ bowling, six of his 10 boundaries went beyond either long-on or long-off.
Prior to being caught on the boundary rope by Tim David on the first ball of the final over, Hales had been the first player to score more than 200 runs for the competition. He also seemed ready to complete the innings undefeated.
The Hurricanes’ chase got off to a shaky start when Davies caught the dangerous D’Arcy Short at point from Doggett’s bowling, but Wade wasted no time making up for it.
Short was dismissed after tying his own record for the quickest 50 by a Hurricanes player and the captain blasted three sixes off ramp shots in the same over. Wade needed just 19 deliveries to get his half-century, hitting six sixes in the process.
Cutting, who was brought in to fill in for the injured Gurinder Sandhu, persuaded Wade to toe the ball to Rilee Rossouw at backward point on just his second BBL summer delivery.
Wade reexamined the choice, hoping it was a bump ball, but after many replays, the wicket stood and the Hurricanes were reduced to 105 for 3. Tim David, who had been moved up the batting order, was out after being run out by Joel Davies, a replacement who was making his BBL debut on the field.
David tried to sneak back for a second run, but Oliver’s younger brother Davies threw straight to wicketkeeper Matthew Gilkes from midwicket, springing David. Once their final two recognised hitters, Asif Ali and Shadab Khan, were caught within the span of seven pitches, the Hurricanes were in serious difficulty, but it rapidly subsided.