Melbourne Renegades v Sydney Thunder, BBL, Melbourne

Lucky number 20 for Sydney Thunder

The Report by Anuj Vignesh

January 14, 2014

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Sydney Thunder 1 for 105 (Khawaja 46*, Dilshan 46) beat Melbourne Renegades 104 (Harris 30, Sandhu 3-21, Mendis 2-15) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Tillakaratne Dilshan goes on the attack, Melbourne Renegades v Sydney Thunder, Big Bash League, Melbourne, January 14, 2014
Tillakaratne Dilshan struck seven fours and a six during his 29-ball 46 © Getty Images
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Twenty games. Seven-hundred-and-fifty-three days. That's how long it had been since the Sydney Thunder last won a Twenty20 match. Since that time, Ricky Ponting has retired and become a commentator for the Big Bash League, and the country has had three different prime ministers. The Thunder, on their part, offloaded Chris Gayle and bolstered their ranks for the new season by signing Michael Hussey, Chris Woakes, Eoin Morgan, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Ajantha Mendis. But they could still not buy a win.

When Chris Gayle's unbeaten century helped the Thunder cruise to a six-wicket win against Adelaide Strikers on December 23, 2011, little did the team know that they would not win again for more than two years and in the process, become one of cricket's most cruel jokes in recent times.

Sydney Thunder's 19-game winless streak - incredibly not the longest in T20 cricket - led to a flurry of internet gags, with the franchise themselves using the hashtag #1inarow after this victory.

In the end though, they needed only 30 overs to put two years of misery behind them, as Gurinder Sandhu, Dilshan and Usman Khawaja masterminded a comprehensive nine-wicket win against Melbourne Renegades at the Docklands Stadium. When the winning single was taken there was only relief rather than jubilation in the Thunders' bench.

The complete domination of the Thunder over the hosts would have been unexpected considering that the team were completely drained of confidence, coming off a 73-run drubbing at the hands of Hobart Hurricanes. But on Tuesday, the team put in a powerful all-round display that was in complete contrast to most of their mediocre showings this season - the bowlers held their lines, the fielding was tight, and the openers both fired.

The Renegades, choosing to bat, were immediately on the backfoot as their captain Aaron Finch, who has been on a hot streak this season, was bowled by Sandhu for a duck. Sandhu then struck in the third over, dismissing Alex Doolan in the third over. Daniel Harris stabilised the innings by combining with Ben Rohrer for a third-wicket association that yielded 50 runs.

As the overs wore on, the Renegades tried to push for a competitive total, but a number of poor shots led to the innings imploding. From 61 for 2, they slid to 104 all out, the innings coming to an end with two run-outs. Ajantha Mendis used his variations well, to snaffle two batsmen on his way to conceding only 15 in his four overs.

The Thunder needed only 11.3 overs to overhaul that paltry total. Khawaja began his innings ominously with an assured drive through covers for four, and received ample support at the other end from Dilshan who played with just as much aggression. The pair added 89 in 9.3 overs and even though Dilshan fell for a 29-ball 46, the openers had already laid the platform for a win to remember.

Hussey, one of the few positives for the Thunder this season with three half-centuries, scored only nine on Tuesday, but the winning runs came off his bat, bringing an end to 753 days of despair for the Thunder.

Anuj Vignesh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (January 15, 2014, 10:03 GMT)

Great for the competition that they finally got a win. How well did khawaja and Dilshan bat, always said that thunder need more batting firepower and then they can win. Khawaja is becoming into a very good T20 and 50 over player.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (January 15, 2014, 9:35 GMT)

One thing that impressed me yesterday was the agrression Dilshan and Khawaja showed, they could have gone slowly but they were attacking from ball 1, Khawaja in particular was even more aggressive early on against Pattinson and played him as well as i have seen any batsman handle a in form Pattinson. Hussey is leading the side well and good signs for the Thunder for next season.

Posted by DickCam on (January 15, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

@512fm. No Mexican, sorry, Victorian team has won any T20 competition of note. Two teams from NSW have won both the Oz domestic competition and the T20 champions league. CA are simply trying to keep everyone happy.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 6:31 GMT)

sankar-my11 for india is dhawan rohit virat raina rahane dhoni jadeja ashwin ishant shami varun aaron and for australia is-warner finch watson bailey hodge maxwell haddin faulkner johnson starc doherty.i am expecting ind vs aus final

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 4:14 GMT)

It's T20 franchise 'cricket' - nobody cares.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 4:14 GMT)

Have your say how d squads will be to the World Twenty20 for India,Pakistan,Sri Lanka,Australia,South Africa,England,New Zealand and last but not d least "d Holder West Indies."

Posted by zn264 on (January 14, 2014, 22:51 GMT)

I was there! Was 40+ in the stadium for most of the game. I'm surprised more boundaries wern't hit considering the conditions! Average game, but great outcome for the Thunder, plus I'm a stars fan anyway haha. Looking forward to a real T20 night, go the BLACK CAPS!

Posted by Amith_S on (January 14, 2014, 22:39 GMT)

One thing that impressed me yesterday was the agrression Dilshan and Khawaja showed, they could have gone slowly but they were attacking from ball 1, Khawaja in particular was even more aggressive early on against Pattinson and played him as well as i have seen any batsman handle a in form Pattinson. Hussey is leading the side well and good signs for the Thunder for next season.

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 14, 2014, 22:37 GMT)

How well did khawaja and Dilshan bat, always said that thunder need more batting firepower and then they can win. Khawaja top scorer in 3 out of his 4 games this season continues his good form but please add more batting strength to this side. Mendis was very good too.

Posted by 512fm on (January 14, 2014, 22:28 GMT)

I don't know why this team is getting made fun of, they are clearly the weakest team in the competition by a long way. On the other hand the Melbourne Stars team is far too strong it would beat most international teams. Is it the team themselves that sign the players or CA? Because something needs to be done especially about these two teams to make it more fair.

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