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17th Match (N), Sydney, December 27, 2022, Big Bash League
(11.4/20 ov, T:122) 124/0

Thunder won by 10 wickets (with 50 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
56* (34) & 2 catches
Cricinfo's MVP
56.59 ptsImpact List

Thunder ace tricky chase to end three-match losing streak

Qadir and Chris Green set up the win with the ball before openers took over

Alex Hales' unbeaten 59 helped roll over Brisbane Heat by ten wickets  •  Cricket Australia via Getty Images

Alex Hales' unbeaten 59 helped roll over Brisbane Heat by ten wickets  •  Cricket Australia via Getty Images

Sydney Thunder 0 for 124 (Hales 59*, Gilkes 56*) beat Brisbane Heat 6 for 121 (Munro 43, Green 2-14) by 10 wickets
Sydney Thunder overcame their demons with a belligerent chase on a tricky Sydney Showground Stadium surface to thrash Brisbane Heat by 10 wickets and snap a three-game losing streak.
Returning to the ground where they were routed for 15 by Adelaide Strikers, Thunder openers Matthew Gilkes and Alex Hales smashed half-centuries to overhaul the modest target of 122 in the 12th over.
Thunder won their first game since the season opener, while Heat slumped to a 1-3 record.

Thunder openers exorcise demons

It only took 11 deliveries for Thunder to pass that infamous total. Gilkes had a duck that night and made just six runs in four innings this season but emerged from his drought by fluently attacking star quicks Michael Neser and Mark Steketee.
Gilkes dominated early before Hales took over to ensure Thunder would not waste such an impressive platform. Thunder took the power surge in the 11th over and Gilkes capitalised with three sixes and a four, racking up 25 runs from legspinner Mitchell Swepson to reach his half-century in style.
Hales shortly after reached his half-century before smashing the winning boundary to ensure the home fans celebrated with gusto - in a contrast to their mocking celebrations during the Strikers match.
Thunder recorded just the fifth 10-wicket victory in BBL history and gave their net run rate a much-needed boost.

Heat's bowlers struggle to fire a shot

Even though they had a modest total to defend, Heat would have been confident given their attack and Thunder's batting fragilities.
Neser, who had claimed six wickets in two prior BBL games including a hat-trick, loomed large and there was an expectation he would produce early problems.
But he was uncharacteristically loose and so too was his partner in crime Steketee as Heat never recovered. It looked like they were bowling on a different wicket as Heat's bowlers appeared rattled by Thunder's aggressive openers.
They fell apart towards the end in a lacklustre performance and will have to get back to the drawing board to revive a stuttering season.

Qadir impresses on Thunder debut

Granted there was assistance, but legspinner Usman Qadir made an impressive Thunder debut with 1 for 19 from four overs. He bowled accurately with his looping deliveries constantly teasing the batters. Perhaps his most impressive feat was not conceding a boundary.
The son of legendary Pakistan spinner Abdul Qadir, he was brought into the squad to provide cover for the injured Tanveer Sangha.
Qadir, who has played 23 T20Is for Pakistan, last played in the BBL four years ago for Perth Scorchers but only performed modestly.
With Heat struggling, he came into the attack in the 10th over and bowled tidily during a period where set batters Colin Munro and Jimmy Peirson looked to put the foot down.
Qadir was rewarded with the wicket of Peirson in the 15th over although he had a mixed bag in the field. He took a fine diving catch to dismiss opener Max Bryant in the second over, but couldn't replicate that effort on the boundary when he reprieved Xavier Bartlett in seventeenth over of the innings.
Qadir also dropped a fierce return chance in the penultimate over, but it failed to dampen his strong debut.

Peirson's nasty blow, Bartlett shows batting potential

It might not have quite been the infamous Gabba pitch of the first Test, but the Showground surface was tough to bat on early.
This was evident when Peirson copped a nasty blow on his neck after a rising delivery from quick Nathan McAndrew. He kept batting after receiving medical attention but never looked comfortable.
With stalwart Chris Lynn having departed, and Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne on Test duties, Heat's batting has revolved around recruit Sam Billings but he scored just one run against his old team.
Munro, another high-profile recruit, made his best score of the season but the big-hitter was uncharacteristically tied down. He made 43 from 47 balls before falling in the 16th over amid the power surge.
Heat appeared like they could barely muster 100 but they were given a late boost from Bartlett, who - 12 months ago - was tipped to become a genuine allrounder before his batting nosedived.
The 24-year-old's cameo of 28 from 17 balls was his highest score this season across formats in a glimpse of his obvious batting talent.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

Win Probability
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Over 12 • ST 124/0

Thunder won by 10 wickets (with 50 balls remaining)
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