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Hales eyes big finish

21 January 2021

Alex Hales // AAP

Big-hitting opener confident Thunder can bounce back to secure place in finals

Batsman Alex Hales is looking forward to returning to Adelaide Oval for Sydney Thunder’s crucial final three regular season matches.

The big-hitting Englishman has fond memories of playing at the venue, including a Player of the Match performance in Thunder's thrilling Knockout Final victory last summer.

“We played some really good cricket at Adelaide Oval last year and I’ve got some really fond memories there,” Hales said.

“It’s an awesome place to play cricket so the fact that we’ve got three games there is great. I think the ground suits the way we want to play our cricket so hopefully we can regain that momentum we had at the start of the tournament.”

After a strong start to the season, Thunder has dropped three consecutive matches however Hales is confident the team can bounce back to secure a place in finals.

“The last handful of games haven’t gone to plan but we know what we’re doing wrong and exactly what we need to do to improve,” he said.

“I think it was around this time in the tournament last year when we started to really find some form, so we know we did it well last year which is good for our mindset heading into this important phase of the tournament this year.”

Thunder is set to come up against crosstown rivals and ladder-leaders the Sixers on Friday night.

When the two sides met last week, young gun Josh Philippe led the Sixers to victory however Hales said Thunder is more than capable of reversing that result in Adelaide.

“We’ve played some really good cricket this season. We know that when we turn up and when we play our best cricket, we can beat any team in the tournament,” he said.

“I think we’ve just got to keep enjoying ourselves and make sure we execute our plans really well and if we do that, I think we’ve got a really good chance against the Sixers.”

Hales said the addition of fellow Englishman Sam Billings, who has scored two half-centuries in his last three games, has been a boost for the side this season, on and off the field.

“He’s full of energy and positivity which is exactly what you want from your overseas players. He’s an exceptional cricketer and a natural-born leader as well which is an added bonus,” Hales said.

“You can’t shut him up but he’s great to spend time with and have around the group. Him and I are both looking forward to really contribute to us making finals and going all the way.”

With Thunder not able to play in Sydney due to state border closures, Hales hopes the team will be able to reward the unwavering support of the Thunder Nation with a successful finish to the season.

“The support from our fans has been brilliant,” Hales said.

“We’re gutted to not be able to play in Sydney but the support we got at Manuka Oval was fantastic. It’s a great place to play cricket so we’re fortunate that we’ve had quite a few of our games there and that a few Thunder fans have been able to watch us in action.

“We’re really determined to reward everyone’s loyalty and passion with some exciting on-field performances.”

Indigenous Playing Shirt Auction

Sydney Thunder is auctioning limited-edition playing shirts to support OzHarvest and help raise valuable funds to provide meals to those in need across the Thunder Nation.

>> CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE AUCTION

OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it directly to more than 1,300 charities supporting people in need across the country.

>> CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE AUCTION

OzHarvest delivers nourishing food to more than 1,500 charities across Australia, including over 200 agencies that support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.