Daniel Sams was back to his big-hitting best as Thunder fought back to defeat the Brisbane Heat with seven balls to spare at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Thunder made 6/180 in reply to 6/178.
The allrounder smashed 65 not out from just 25 balls, including seven sixes, in the first win of BBL|10. He also took 2-32 from four overs.
Sams and Ben Cutting (29 from 23) combined to add 89 during a remarkable recovery. At one stage, Thunder were 2/1 and then 3/22 in the third over.
Heat pace bowler Jack Wildermuth (3-23) took the big wickets of Alex Hales and captain Callum Ferguson, for ducks, in the first over and then Khawaja (17) in his next.
Alex Ross also made a handy 34 from 24 balls. With the ball, Thunder fought back toward the end of the 20 overs after a fast start by the Heat.
On his 31st birthday, leg-spinner Jono Cook took two wickets from his four overs.
Brisbane Heat captain Chris Lynn made 69 from 44 balls before he fell to off-spinner Chris Green caught on the boundary.
Nathan McAndrew (1-36) sent the stumps cartwheeling to dismiss Tom Cooper (5). Thunder's first win puts them in fifth place on the BBL|10 ladder.
PERFORMANCE OF THE MATCH
His 65 not out was his first BBL half-century and could not have come at a more important time. He hit seven sixes and three fours.
The Thunder have an eight day break before their next match taking on the Perth Scorchers on Tuesday 22 December at Manuka Oval. Live on Fox Cricket, Kayo Sports and SEN radio.
Sydney Thunder BBL|10 Fixtures
Tues 22 Dec | Vs Perth Scorchers | Manuka Oval | 7:15pm
Sat 26 Dec | Vs Melbourne Renegades | Manuka Oval | 6:10pm
Tues 29 Dec | Vs Melbourne Stars | Manuka Oval | 7:15pm
Fri 1 Jan | Vs Melbourne Renegades | Metricon Stadium | 7:15pm
Mon 4 Jan | Vs Brisbane Heat | The Gabba | 7:15pm
Thurs 7 Jan | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | Optus Stadium | 6:10pm
Sat 9 Jan | Vs Perth Scorchers | Optus Stadium | 7:15pm
Wed 13 Jan | Vs Sydney Sixers | Sydney Showground Stadium | 7:15pm
Mon 18 Jan | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | Sydney Showground Stadium | 7:15pm
Fri 22 Jan | Vs Sydney Sixers | SCG | 7:15pm
Sun 24 Jan | Vs Adelaide Strikers | Sydney Showground Stadium | 4:05pm
Mon 25 Jan | Vs Adelaide Strikers | Sydney Showground Stadium | 7:15pm
Sydney Thunder Memberships
Memberships start from $40 and offer access to a host of new benefits and exclusive discounts. View all packages here.
All Thunder Members will get priority access to BBL|10 tickets plus a 20% discount.
For more information or to join the Thunder Nation, please contact our Membership Team on 02 8302 6092.