Cricket Australia Items/news/2012/1/1/hurricanes-keep-rolling

Hurricanes keep rolling headline.

UPDATED 24 October, 2012 6:53PM AEST | by Luke Sheehan

Not even another Chris Gayle half-century was enough to stop the Hurricanes recording a fourth straight win.

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The Hobart Hurricanes remain unbeaten in the KFC T20 Big Bash League, after a five-wicket win over the Sydney Thunder at Blundstone Arena on Sunday.

The Thunder won the toss and elected to bat in Hobart, but could only manage 8-138 in their 20 overs, with the Hurricanes reaching 5-139 with eight balls to spare to make it four wins from four in the inaugural version of the competition.

Chris Gayle was in flying form once again for Sydney with 53 off 33 deliveries, but his only support came from Sean Abbott (39).

For the Hurricanes, Owais Shah (41 not out) top scored in the victory.

Fidel Edwards (2-33 off four overs) got the Thunder's defence of 138 off to an ideal start, bowling Phil Jaques for a golden duck on the third ball of the Hobart innings.

But No.3 bat Travis Birt produced some lusty hitting and looked on his way to a big score before being trapped lbw for 35 off 18 balls by a skidding Scott Coyte (2-14 off four) delivery.

Jonathan Wells (29) and Tom Triffitt (18) also chipped in with handy contributions for the Hurricanes, as Shah's unbeaten inning proved the catalyst for the victory.

Earlier, Gayle looked shaky from the outset in the Thunder's innings, almost running himself out in the first over, before surviving some fine bowling from Matt Johnston (1-20 off four), who was angling the ball across the left-handed West Indian, narrowly beating the edge on several occasions.

The marquee man got his 'six' count off the mark in the third over, however, before adding a second in the next when Krejza (2-29 off four) bowled a juicy full toss, which he hit onto the stadium's southern stand roof.

Johnston's consistent line paid dividends when Sydney skipper Daniel Smith holed out to mid-off in what was a simple catch for Xavier Doherty.

After a slow start, teenager Abbott struck a brutal six off Ben Laughlin's first ball to signal his intention to mimic Gayle's power hitting, despite the medium-pacer having just 24 runs to his name in the Twenty20 format.

Laughlin (1-21 off four) thought he had Gayle caught behind down the leg side for 28 to finish the seventh over, but his appeal was in vain.

Gayle brought up his half-century with back-to-back sixes off spinner Doherty (1-45 off four), but it was shortly after this milestone that momentum began to swing in the hosts' favour.

Some impressive work from Laughlin in the 13th over kept Gayle off-strike, as he bowled a rare maiden in Twenty20 cricket with Abbott unable to get bat on ball.

The maiden was followed by the immediate dismissal of key man Gayle, when he miscued a pull to Pakistani Rana Naved-ul-Hasan off the bowling of Krejza.

Abbott broke a three-over boundary drought with a big six to bring up the Thunder's 100 after 14 overs, but he and Gayle were the only batsmen to influence the Sydney innings as they crumbled late.

Naved (3-22 off four) finished off the innings in style, nabbing three wickets in four balls in the final over, including a spectacular caught-and-bowled effort.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 01 January, 2012 10:36PM AEST

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