Alex Hales struck a 45-run knock as Sydney Thunder downed Melbourne Renegades by seven runs on Duckworth–Lewis–Stern (DLS) method in the rain-hit match No. 22 of Big Bash League at Carrara Oval, Queensland on Friday (January 1).
Renegades made a good start by scoring 166 runs for the loss of 6 wickets with the help of Shaun Marsh's 87 runs that went in vain as rain interrupted the play and the match was reduced to 17-overs-per-side. After DLS adjustment, 6 runs were added into Renegades total of 166 and the opponents had a 173-run target to chase.
Thunder were 117 for two by the end of the 12th over when rain halted the play again and as per the DLS method, they already had completed the required target of 110 runs. Soon the heavy showers prevented any further play and Thunder were declared winners.
Blasting seven four and two sixes, Hales helped his side score 52 runs in the powerplay that already had put Thunder in command. However, the 31-year-old batsman, who was just five runs away from his half-century, had to go back to the pavilion when Mitchell Perry dismissed him on the last ball of the fourth over. Alex made a thundering start for his side by smacking all the bowlers (Kane Richardson, Imad Wasim and Perry), he faced in the powerplay.
After the first four overs, skipper Callum Ferguson joined Khawaja in the chase. Both batsmen struck a boundary each and scored runs by taking ones and twos. Thunder also earned the Bash Boost point, by reaching their target of 65 in just 6 overs.
However, Ferguson (11 off 9) could not stay longer at the crease as he was trapped by Imad Wasim leg before in the eighth over.
Khwaja (48* of 34) continued firing boundaries. Sam Billings (10* off 10) also supported him at the other end by scoring a few singles and a boundary to help Thunder score 117 runs before the end of the innings.
Earlier, Renegades skipper Aaron Finch made a blistering start when he scored 13 runs in the second over by smacking a six and a four off Chris Tremain, after scoring 5 singles in the first over off Denial Sams. Nathan McAndrew replaced Sams in the third over and after conceding two runs, he forced Renegades to suffer an early blow when he dismissed Finch (18 off 13) in the third over. However, Shaun Marsh tried to compensate the loss by smashing two back to back boundaries. In the fourth over, Thunder sent spinner Chris Green into the attack, who conceded 7 runs.
After the powerplay, Sam Harper (7 off 6) found the fence once and then fell into a short ball trap by Chris Tremain. Marsh, on the other hand, tried to stay firm at the crease and slapped Green by hitting a four and a six in the 6th over to maintain a decent run rate of 9.33.
Tanveer Sangha, who has been phenomenal this season came into the attack and removed Rilee Rossouw in the 7th over. Marsh smashed two sixes and accumulated a few runs through singles and doubles as Renegades scored 79 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in 10 overs.
Shaun Marsh completed his 50 runs off 29 balls in the 11th over by touching the rope off Ben Cutting's delivery. In the 12th over, Mohammad Nabi and Marsh earned a few singles and the former blasted a six before rain stopped the play.
Renegades called for their Power Surge in the 13th over with Daniel Sams came into the attack. Marsh blasted a six and got a lifeline on the next ball when Green dropped his catch at deep midwicket. Renegade crossed 100 runs in that over.
Marsh smashed another six on a no-ball bowled by McAndrew. Nabi also found the fence as both batsmen notched 32 runs in two overs.
They continued troubling bowlers by hitting boundaries, however, in the 16 the over McAndrew took his revenge and removed Marsh, who was just 13 runs away from his century. Nabi Continued slapping six and helped his side complete their 150 runs. McAndrew then removed the Afghan batsman (33 off 24) in the same over. The right-arm medium pacer grabbed three wickets conceding 41 runs.
Renegades lost another wicket when Mackenzie went back to pavilion after scoring just one run off Sams. Imad Wasim then hit a four and took ones and twos to make it 166 for 6 before the end of the innings.
Thunder have now won five matches in a row, while Renegades have lost five matches out of their six encounters.