Sydney Thunder’s ninth KFC Big Bash League campaign came to an end on Thursday night when it fell to eventual runners-up the Melbourne Stars at the MCG.
However skipper Callum Ferguson said his side, which has experienced significant change in the last 12 months including a new captain and nine additions to the squad, will benefit from the experience of playing three knockout finals.
“It’s obviously really disappointing to go down but I’m really proud of everyone’s efforts,” said Ferguson after Thursday night’s Challenger Final.
“Like all tournament, we fought really hard, unfortunately we just gave the Stars too many double chances. We dropped both guys who went on to make 70 plus and that makes it a really tough effort from there to get the win.
“I thought we fought really hard with the ball to drag it back to a position where I thought we were going to keep them to a gettable target, but we probably just missed our lengths in the fourteenth to sixteenth overs and they just got ahead of the rate unfortunately.
“We’ll learn a lot out of this game, as well as the whole tournament. We’ve fought really hard all the way through the tournament, and we did that again with the bat.
“Alex Ross was outstanding. He’s just come along in leaps and bounds, and really taken his opportunity with both hands so it was really pleasing.”
After finishing fifth on the ladder, Thunder made the most of its finals chance.
Against the odds, Thunder eliminated the Hurricanes in Hobart before knocking out the Strikers in Adelaide to progress to the third round of the finals series.
“To win those two away finals, do-or-die clashes, under real pressure, I think that showed the caliber of character that we’ve got in the side and also our ability to learn and get better,” said Ferguson.
“I feel like we’re in really good shape going into next season on the back of what we’ve learnt this tournament and some of the self-belief that we’ve gained.
“I feel like on the back of tough losses in big games, you learn a lot, but you don’t want to dwell on them too much.
“I think what we can do is just take the disappointment and turn it into real determination to want that opportunity again and next time take our chances.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in this side to grab every opportunity going forward, learn from everything this year and hopefully turn that into an even better result next year.”
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