T20 Big Bash League - KFC

Renegades too strong for Thunder

14/12/2012 22:12 PM
Gayle vs Renegades

Story of the night

Who would have guessed a match featuring Chris Gayle and Aaron Finch would evolve into a battle of the bowlers? Well, that’s what we got at ANZ Stadium, as another slow start from the top order doomed the Sydney Thunder in their first home game of the season, as they fell by 5 wickets to a suddenly-lethal Melbourne Renegades. 

Put in to bat first and test out the wicket, the top three Thunder batsmen, Usman Khawaja, Chris Gayle and Mark Cosgrove could only manage 43 from 57 balls, the going for the lower order Thunder batsmen was going to be tough. It was.

Opener Khawaja again got off to a pedestrian start before finishing with 19 from 26 balls, while the arrival of West Indies superstar Chris Gayle was over before it really begun, unluckily run out for 13 when his bat got stuck in the turf on a quick single.

Cosgrove was third man up, and he also found it tough going, eventually succumbing to an economical Muthiah Muralidaran for 12. Aaron O’Brien then fired up for the Renegades, taking the next three wickets of Chris Rogers, Azhar Mahmood and Sean Abbott for a paltry 8 runs. 

At that stage of the game, it looked as if the Thunder would fail to hit the triple digit run total, but a surprising stand by Chris Tremain and Ryan Carters ended up taking the total to 116 runs from the twenty overs.

After his good start with the ball in last week’s Derby, youngster Chris Tremain showed his worth with the bat as well, finishing with a sharp 37 off 23 balls, which included 1 four and 3 sixes, one more six than the rest of the squad combined.

Dirk Nannes bowled well for the second straight game, sending down thunderbolts that regularly hit the high 140km/h mark. The veteran was unlucky not to get 3 early LBWs of Finch, but ended up finishing with 1 wicket from his four overs. 

It looked for a moment that the Thunder’s modest total and strong bowling could steal the match, with Finch, Marlon Samuels and Daniel Harris only combining for 43 runs and Azhar Mahmood looking dangerous with the ball, but as the Renegades were chasing a total of less than a run a ball, the slow and steady ‘Gades innings was enough to get it done in this one.

Hero of the Night

Tempted to give the nod to Sean Abbott for taking Finch’s wicket for 31, but the real hero was Chris Tremain. After the good work last week from youngsters Sean Abbott and Ryan Carters, another young gun in Chris Tremain was impressive. Not known for his batting, Tremain scored a quickfire 37* from 23 balls, which included 3 sixes and holds him in good stead for the remainder of his debut season.

Villain of the Night

The villains were the Renegades bowling duo of Aaron O’Brien and Muralidaran. O’Brien took three wickets in quick succession to completely dismantle the Thunder middle order, while the Test cricket wicket-taker record-holder bamboozled the batsmen and bundled out top order men Khawaja and Cosgrove.

Defining moment

Chris Gayle’s bat getting caught in the turf. Even though he didn’t start explosively, it doesn’t take long for big Henry to fire up, but unfortunately he never got the chance. Trying for a quick single, Gayle’s bat got somewhat lodged in the turf as he was about to enter the crease, meaning that Darren Pattinson’s direct hit was a runout and spelled trouble for the men in green.

Next up

Next up for the Thunder are the Adelaide Strikers on December 20 at ANZ Stadium. The Strikers are 1-1, and the Sydney Thunder will be fighting hard to back up their strong bowling with a better performance with the bat as they try to dig themselves out of an 0-2 start.

Make sure you check back later for all the match highlights.

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