Sydney Thunder coach Shane Bond said he expected some of the tough lessons from his team’s rain-affected 16-run loss to Brisbane Heat to prove beneficial in Wednesday night’s KFC Big Bash League match against the Melbourne Stars at the MCG.
While the match was initially shortened to eight overs for each team due to the rain that swept across Sydney Olympic Park on Monday night, Brisbane amassed 4-119 on the back of big-hitting Englishman Tom Banton’s 56 from only 19 deliveries.
When further rain interrupted the match with Sydney Thunder on 1-22 off 2.1 overs, their innings was reduced to five overs with a revised total (under the Duckworth- Lewis System). Thunder returned to the crease needing to reach a total of 77 from the remaining 17 deliveries.
After watching Sydney Thunder fall short, Bond rued what he called a series of “frustrating” missed opportunities.
“What we’ve done in recent times is taken our chances in the field,” said Bond. “But, we missed three and gave their two most explosive players a couple of chances to have a go at us - and they were awesome.
“There are critical things you can’t do in T20 – you can’t miss catches, especially when the game is shortened. That was what really hurt us.
“We had some really clear stuff around the use of the short ball - we couldn’t get it high enough and we weren’t accurate enough - and they took the game away from us.”
Bond stressed it wouldn’t take much for Thunder, who are sitting in fourth place on the competition ladder, to turn their form around.
“We’re going to Melbourne with confidence in what we do,” he said. “The Stars are going well, they’re full of beans, and we’re looking forward to a decent challenge on a big ground.
“I think we showed in our last game [against the Stars] that we have a team that can beat anyone in the competition.”
Meanwhile, Daniel Sams extended his lead as the wearer of the BKT Golden Arm cap by taking a further two wickets to extend his season's tally to 14.
The left-arm quick fought back after being hit for 18 runs in the opening over to finish with 2-24 from two overs. He claimed the prized wickets of Max Bryant and Matt Renshaw.
Sams then made a handy cameo with the bat, smashing 10 runs from the three deliveries he faced.
Sydney Thunder squad vs Melbourne Stars on Wednesday 6 January
Callum Ferguson (C) (12)
Jonathan Cook (50)
Brendan Doggett (35)
Matthew Gilkes (22)
Chris Green (93)
Alex Hales (6)
Usman Khawaja (18)
Nathan McAndrew (44)
Chris Morris (24)
Arjun Nair (7)
Alex Ross (49)
Daniel Sams (60)
Chris Tremain (20)