Sydney Thunder has returned to winning ways with a thrilling one-run victory over the Perth Scorchers at Spotless Stadium.
Thunder skipper Shane Watson won the bat flip (his first bat flip win of the season!) and elected to bat first on a difficult surface that appeared to stay low during the preceding WBBL match.
After the early loss of Watson (4), Jos Buttler (55) and Callum Ferguson (42) adapted to conditions and built an excellent partnership. The pair added 82 for the second wicket before Ferguson departed in the thirteenth over. Wickets fell in quick succession but Buttler kept the runs ticking before he hit his own wicket attempting a reverse sweep. A late cameo by Chris Green (18*) helped Thunder reach 6-142 after 20 overs.
The experienced Michael Klinger (20) and Cameron Bancroft (19) did their best to keep pace with the run rate required for a Scorchers victory despite some tight bowling by the Thunder. They shared a 32-run partnership to progress the total to 1-50 in the ninth over before Fawad Ahmed (2-22) dismissed Klinger LBW. The Scorchers went on to lose 4-4 within 20 balls but a brilliant knock by Ashton Turner (60*) kept his side in the game until the final ball.
Gurinder Sandhu came back into Thunder's XI for Arjun Nair. The Scorchers named unchanged eleven to the side that lost to the Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena on 30 December.
Sydney Thunder: Shane Watson (c), Fawad Ahmed, Jos Buttler, Jono Cook, Callum Ferguson, Chris Green, Sam Rainbird, Joe Root, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha
Perth Scorchers: Ashton Turner (c), Michael Klinger, David Willey, Cameron Bancroft, Hilton Cartwright, Will Bosisto, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff
THE TURNING POINT
The experienced Michael Klinger was trapped LBW by Fawad Ahmed just as the Scorchers opener and Cameron Bancroft were starting to build a partnership that could have put the visitors in position for a possible victory. The key wicket put the Scorchers on the back foot, with Bancroft dismissed next over for 19.
THE FINAL OVER
Daniel Sams had the ball with the Scorchers needing 20 runs to win. Turner managed 12 runs from the first four deliveries to keep victory within reach. Feeling the pressure, Sams bowled two consecutive wides but composed himself in front of a 17,000 plus crowd at Spotless Stadium to restrict Turner to just two from the fifth ball and two from the sixth to secure Thunder a one run win.
PERFORMER OF THE MATCH
A quick fire 42 runs from 30 deliveries from Callum Ferguson helped set the game up early. The important knock included five fours and a six and earned him player-of-the-match honours.
Thunder head north to the Gold Coast to take on the Melbourne Stars on 5 January.
SYDNEY THUNDER TICKETS5 JAN | v Melbourne Stars | WBBL | Blacktown International SportsPark
6 JAN | v Melbourne Stars | WBBL | Bankstown Memorial Oval
8 JAN | v Melbourne Renegades | WBBL | Spotless Stadium
8 JAN | v Brisbane Heat | BBL | Spotless Stadium
13 JAN | v Adelaide Strikers | BBL | Spotless Stadium
22 JAN | v Melbourne Renegades | BBL | Spotless Stadium
9 FEB | v Hobart Hurricanes | BBL | Manuka Oval