Sydney Thunder have beaten the Hobart Hurricanes for the first time in BBL history thanks to stunning knocks from captain Shane Watson and new import James Vince.
Watson’s 55 off 31 balls and Vince’s 44 off 28 helped the Thunder chase the Hurricanes’ total of 8/161 at Blundstone Arena with six wickets remaining with 19 balls to spare.
It was a return to form for Watson who until Sunday’s match had hit just six runs in three innings for BBL06.
The second consecutive win sees the Thunder keep their finals chances alive with matches against the Sydney Sixers and the Adelaide Strikers to follow.
Watson won the toss and elected to bowl on a hard and flat Blundstone Arena surface.
Tim Paine slammed a boundary through cover to open the scoring before Patterson caught him at cover with the very next ball by Clint McKay.
Pat Cummins took the new ball from the other end and removed opener and in-form batsman D’Arcy Short for a first ball duck thanks to a sharp catch by wicketkeeper Jay Lenton.
George Bailey and Ben Dermott then 46 for the third wicket before Lenton brilliantly ran out McDermott for 31.
Dan Christian attempted to build a partnership with Bailey but could only manage 16 runs before he became Carlos Brathwaite’s first Thunder wicket.
Fawad Ahmed (Four overs 0-18) and Watson slowed down the run-rate before Jonathan Wells slammed 26 runs from just 17 balls to help push the Hurricanes towards a competitive total.
Brathwaite claimed his second wicket when Wells was caught at square leg by McKay as Bailey continued on his way to an unbeaten 69 from 54 balls.
A final over cameo from Clive Rose (8 from 3 balls) saw the Hurricanes post 8/161 from their 20 overs.
Thunder looked the goods from ball one of their innings with James Vince and Kurtis Patterson combining for an opening stand of 62.
Vince was sublime on his Thunder debut pushing on to make 44 off 28 balls after the dismissal of Patterson for 23.
Watson came to the crease and looked confident early before he let loose, slamming five sixes and two fours in his thrilling knock of 55 off 31 balls.
After Watson was caught behind, Ben Rohrer guided the Thunder to a six wicket win finishing 28 not out off just 20 balls.
The Thunder head to the SCG to take on the Sydney Sixers in the second Sydney Smash of BBL06 on Saturday, January 14.