Hussey ensures the Thunder awakens

17 December 2015

Brilliant knock from Mr Cricket leads men in green to first Sydney Smash victory

KFC BBL|05, Match 1


The match in one tweet: History made! Thunder make 4-159 to win the #SydneySmash thanks to a classic 80no from Mr Cricket & some fireworks from Dre-Russ #BBL05

WATCH: Hussey's timeless classic

The hero: Mike Hussey has enjoyed plenty of fairytales through his career and 18,287 parochial fans got to witness another at Spotless Stadium tonight. The Thunder captain and eternal fan favourite, Mr Cricket made a stunning unbeaten 80 from 59 balls to take his side to 4-159 and put them in a great position for victory. The innings was dotted with the usual Hussey trademarks – with no less than four maximums, including one from the final ball of the innings.

Mike Hussey's wagon wheel

The support cast: Andre Russell was expected to shine with the bat but his bowling is vastly under-rated. He was fast and hostile and looked to take the Sixers' batsmen by surprise. A cracking yorker knocked over Brad Haddin and he bowled dangerman Nic Maddinson, too, before returning to remove Nathan Lyon. The Jamaican faced just five balls for four not out and showed glimpses of his athleticism in the field, but it was his clinical showing with the ball that put the home side on track for the win. Honourable mention to Shane Watson, who chimed in with three wickets to seal the deal.

WATCH: Dre-Russ wraps up Sixers

The victim: Michael Lumb made 34 but nonetheless had a night to forget – his team lost, he copped a questionable lbw decision, and he dropped this…

WATCH: Lumb drops a sitter

The moment: The first ball of the match's sixth over, Jackson Bird bowling to Hussey. SIX! It was a cracking stroke –advancing down the track, meeting the ball on the half volley and lifting it deep over long off – and signalled the return of everyone's favourite Twenty20 tournament. It also removed any question marks about Mr Cricket's decision to play another season, with the veteran leftie proving, once again, that class is permanent.

The surprise: The Sixers have been renowned throughout their BBL existence as a side that fights hard and refuses to give in, no matter the situation. So it was a shock to see their middle and lower order fold dramatically when the Thunder applied the screw. At one point, the BBL|04 runners-up lost 5-12, surrendering the match in the process.

WATCH: Watson caught ... in the crowd

The talking point: The streak is over! Four seasons and seven matches of dominance came to a spectacular end at Spotless Stadium, thanks to a class all-round performance from the Thunder and a rusty effort from the Sixers.

The stat: As well as being their first defeat in the Sydney Smash, this is also the first time the Sixers have lost their opening match of a BBL season.

The wash-up: The Thunder can't afford to get carried away with this wonderful win – last year they began in similar fashion only to fall apart mid-season. The Sixers meanwhile have enough experience to avoid panic – it's two points lost, but there are still 14 to collect.