Pre-season confidence carries through for first-up win for Thunder in BBL|11

Sydney Thunder cruise to their first win in BBL|11 (Image: Sydney Thunder Twitter)

Despite having plenty of luck on their side, the Brisbane Heat’s underwhelming performance with the bat made things all too easy for the Thunder to comfortably chase down their total of 140.

Chris Lynn and Max Bryant’s early departures put pressure on the incoming batters in Ben Duckett and Sam Heazlett who did well to survive through a period of tight bowling from the Sydney Thunder.

The pair went on to score 46 and 42 respectively, with Heazlett being dropped three times before his luck ran out on the fourth occasion.

a late cameo of 26 not-out from Xavier Bartlett was the only other substantial addition to the Heat’s total score.

The Heat looked as if they may have had a chance when BBL|10’s leading runscorer in Alex Hales departed for a duck facing just the second delivery of the innings.

A couple of wickets in an over from Heat debutant Liam Guthrie breathed life into the game, but slowly and surely, a match-winning knock from Alex Ross suffocated any hope that the Heat had.

The Thunder were already full of confidence heading to the match already having knocked off local rivals in some pre-season match practice games.

“We’ve had an awesome start to the season, behind the scenes as well, we’ve had a couple of wins over the Sixers as well in trial games, I know they’re not worth points but the boys are all in really good form on the field,” Ross said after hitting 61 from 46 balls.

Alongside Sam Billings, Ross was composed enough to build into his innings before confidently closing it out in a completely comfortable fashion with a couple of overs to spare.

“Obviously started a little bit slow, tough wicket to get a start on, it’s a little bit tacky, so for me I tried to navigate the ball into the gaps, and then find my way into finding a few boundaries and trying to find my match-up after that really, and for me, that’s generally the spin, I managed to get a hold of a few.”

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Thanks to an impressive bowling display that saw reliable quick, Daniel Sams collect three wickets alongside Gurinder Sandhu and Nathan McAndrew taking a couple as well themselves, the mission to chase down the Heat’s total was simple for the Thunder.

“We picked up on the tacky-ness and we found that the Heat went a little bit hard at the ball, if we played a few more cards and a few more cricket shots, we could maybe use the pace of it until we then need to take on our match-up.”

“The luxury we had is that we only had to chase 140 if there’s 160 on the board there, there’s a little bit more pressure to go a little bit harder a bit earlier and that’s when those wickets can come so Sam (Billings) and I had the time to get in and then play a few more of our shot when we saw the risk in our favour.”

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