After sitting out the past two games due to personal reasons, Hobart Hurricanes skipper Matthew Wade marked his return in a big way, scoring 83* off 54 balls, on the way to a nine-run win against Sydney Thunder at Marvel Stadium.
Wade has had a lean BBL campaign, scoring just 84 runs in nine innings outside of the 117 he thumped against the Sydney Sixers early in the tournament.
But in a game that the Hurricanes sought to lock in a finals spot against the side they fell short against just a few nights ago, Wade led from the front with the bat en route to a first-innings total of 6/117.
On a hot Melbourne day, the Hobart Hurricanes won the bat flip, with Wade wasting no time to elect to bat first.
Ben McDermott and Caleb Jewell took some time to adjust to the conditions, with the late decision to shut the roof altering the overhead conditions.
Having been in sparkling form across BBL|11, McDermott again signaled his intentions to go big when he hit Nathan McAndrew for six off his first delivery of the game.
He was dismissed two overs later, looking to cut a ball over gully, caught for 18 off the bowling of the savvy Daniel Sams.
Jewell steadily built into his innings before getting moving slowly, combining with Wade for an 89 run partnership, with Jewell reaching his maiden BBL half-century.
Wade batted through the innings with his regular inventive flare, as wickets fell around him late.
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A tactical blunder early in the second innings could have seen the game unravel for the Hurricanes before a superb Riley Meredith over swung the momentum back the Hurricanes way.
Meredith struck in his first over, Wade threw the ball to Tim David, the middle order batter looking to rush through an over with his part-time off-spin.
The move backfired with the in-form Jason Sangha and big-hitting Englishmen Alex Hales taking the over for 20 runs and setting the Thunder well on thier way to get into the big chase.
Sangha and Hales combined for a 62 run partnership and easily secured the Bash Boost Point inside the eighth over.
Meredith showed his class immediately after the drinks break, removing the dangerous Ollie Davies and Ben Cutting in consecutive deliveries, swinging the game back into the Hurricanes favour in a five-ball stretch where the Thunder lost 3/0.
The Thunder were able to stay in touch with the Hurricanes as Baxter Holt and Nathan McAndrew started building a partnership and took the power surge in the 15th over.
Both batters fell in the over immediately after the surge, giving the Hurricanes the comfort of bowling out the remaining overs and securing the win.
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