Hurricanes retaliated for their defeat three nights ago with a win in nine runs when Thunder suffered a medium-order collapse
Hurricanes in Hobart 6 for 177 (Wade 83 *, Jewell 51, Sandhu 2-27) beat Sydney thunder 9 for 168 (Hales 38, Thompson 3-24, Meredith 3-29, Lamichhane 2-26) on nine runs
After Wade missed two games for personal reasons, Wade’s 54-ball knock held the Hurricanes innings together after they decided to hit before speedster Meredith Thunder’s much-touted three-wicket hit order in a seesaw contest was broken.
Wade returns in style
After hitting two of his three BBL tons at Marvel Stadium, Ben McDermott saw another big score, but Thunder got his number back when he fell to 18, passing fifth.
It nailed Wade, who returned after missing two games for personal reasons and ended up in third place instead of his usual position at the top. Wade had struggled for most of the season and was impeccably timed with a strong second ball, then beat legspinner Tanveer Sangha for two limits in the seventh round.
After watching the carnage around him, Wade picked up Hurricanes with a late vortex. Hurricanes still don’t have the right balance in their strike order, but a tapered calf in 3rd place seems like a winner.
Donner struck back after a sharp start
The thunder seemed to fade amid the slaughter of Wade and Jewell, which was marked by ragged bowling and sloppy fields. But they did not let themselves be upset and fought back impressively to turn the script around spectacularly. In shape sailor Gurinder Sandhu claimed two wickets in a momentum-shifting 13th place when Thunder broke the fragile middle order of Hurricanes.
They claimed five wickets in a devastating 25-ball burst, interrupted by a sparkling Yorker from Mohammad Hasnain, to an ashen Jordan Thompson in the 17th. Apart from 16 rounds in the 12th round, Hasnain was once again irrepressible with full and fast bowling.
But the disciplined Thunder would have been disappointed with their bowling and fielding in the first 10 overs, which ultimately proved costly.
Meredith is sizzling fast
Aside from taking the Matthew Gilkes wicket in the first over, Meredith struggled with his rhythm and his idiosyncratic bowling was promptly hit by Alex Hales. Fellow seaman Tom Rogers, her lead wicket taker that season, fared no better when Hurricanes lost their nerve under siege when Thunder 1 was in power play for 56 most runs by a team that season.
They clawed back through Thompson, claiming key wickets from Hales and replacement skipper Jason Sangha, who fell to an excellent slower ball. Then Meredith swung the match through spectacularly in the 11th round, bowling Ollie Davies and Ben Cutting clean at sheer pace when the Hurricanes gained a stranglehold.
Meredith, who played five T20Is for Australia last year, had an intermittent start to the BBL season, picking up just three wickets in his last five games. With his deadly pace and full-length song skills, the 25-year-old reminded national voters in time.
Thunder shakes from the collapse of the middle order
Hales shattered David’s spin for five limits in the second run and sped on 27 of just 10 deliveries after handing in a quick delivery from Meredith for six. His stormy 17-ball 38 ended in the fifth over, but Thunder still looked on course until they lost 4 for 10 mid-innings.
Nathan McAndrew tried his best in the end to conjure up a wonderful win, but it wasn’t enough as Thunder lost for the first time since December 26th.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth