Watson fires as Thunder stay alive

08 January 2017

George Bailey responds but Watson returns to form to guide the Thunder to victory

KFC BBL|06, Match 20


The match in a tweet: Thunder stay alive by derailing Cane train! Imports shine, Bailey fights as the defending champions record consecutive wins

The scorecard: Hobart Hurricanes 8-161 (Bailey 69no, Brathwaite 2-31) lost to Sydney Thunder 4-162 (Watson 55, Vince 44) by six wickets

The skipper: As if winning back-to-back matches wasn't enough for the Thunder, their skipper was back to his very best tonight after a slow start to the tournament. Having missed the start of the campaign due to injury, Shane Watson had impressed with the ball but had managed scores of just 0, 3 and 3 with the bat - before tonight. The allrounder responded with a powerful innings of 55 from 31 balls, including five sixes, in a great sign for the Thunder as they continue to rebuild their season.

Watson returns to form with damaging half-century

The shot: Need convincing that Watson is back in form? Check out this shot ... and then watch it again. Sensational.

Watson's sensational straight six off Tait

The selection shock: One of the biggest stories of the night came before a ball had even been bowled with news that the Hurricanes had dropped Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara. Having scored more than 20 just once in five innings so far this season, the hosts made the tough decision to dump their star import for young batsman Ben McDermott. No doubt it was a difficult decision for Hobart's brains trust, but there might be more tough selection calls to come after another loss tonight. 

The response: George Bailey has been a mainstay (and sometime captain) of Australia's one-day side for years now, so it was always going to be interesting to see how he responded to his ODI axing on Saturday. The veteran did so in style, posting a crucial unbeaten 69 to power the home side to a score of 8-161. The Tasmanian will be desperate to win back his place with the Champions Trophy less than six months away and he sent a timely reminder of his class tonight.

Bailey responds to ODI axing with unbeaten 69

The celebration: After Usman Khawaja dabbed his way to a half-century at the SCG this week, West Indian Carlos Brathwaite marked his BBL debut with some dabs of his own in Hobart.

Brathwaite dabs his way to two wickets on debut

The debutant: James Vince had big shoes to fill following the last-ball heroics of Eoin Morgan last week, but the Englishman impressed in his first match for the Thunder. With Morgan's tournament over due to England commitments, the Thunder have turned to Vince and he made a strong start to his BBL career, hitting six fours and a six in making 44 from just 28 balls.

Vince marks first BBL game with impressive knock

The rookie: Young Thunder keeper-batsman Jay Lenton has impressed in his first handful of games in the BBL and his did so again tonight with an excellent run out and this brilliant diving catch to remove the dangerous D'Arcy Short.

Lenton takes a screamer to remove Short

The catch: Lenton's catch was a beauty, but so was this one-handed effort by a spectator on the hill. If only his buddy had been quicker to acknowledge his good work!

Old mate takes a beauty - but is left hanging!

The six: You would have got some strange looks pre-game if you'd nominated Hobart No.9 Clive Rose to hit one of the shots of the night! The tail-ender casually launched a 148km/h delivery from Pat Cummins over the cover fence, making his first-ever BBL six a memorable one.

Tail ender hits his first ever BBL six - over cover!

The wash-up: Having lost their opening four games of the season, the Thunder have now won two in a row and have momentum on their side. The win tonight moves them up to four points, level with the Hurricanes, ahead of their big derby against the Sixers on Saturday. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have almost two weeks before their next game, against the Scorchers on January 21.