Thunder top of BBL after crushing Hobart

Justin Chadwick
·2-min read

The Sydney Thunder have surged to the top of the BBL ladder after producing a hot bowling display in their 39-run win over the Hobart Hurricanes at Optus Stadium.

Usman Khawaja (49 off 33 balls), Alex Ross (44no off 33 balls) and Ben Cutting (31no off 14 balls) made important knocks to lift the Thunder to 5-167 in front of a crowd of 2940 on Thursday.

In reply, Hobart were on track for victory after cruising to 2-89 after 11 overs, before losing 6-26 to fall in a heap.

The Hurricanes eventually limped to 8-128 from their 20 overs, but they at least came away with the bonus point after reaching 2-77 from their opening 10 overs in comparison to the Thunder's 3-74.

Thunder spinner Tanveer Sangha (2-29 off four overs) snared the key wicket of Peter Handscomb (30 off 24) on the way to becoming the current leading wicket taker of the season, while paceman Nathan McAndrew (2-25) dismissed dangerous openers Ben McDermott (22 off 12) and D'Arcy Short (19 off 16) to earn man-of-the-match honours.

Spinner Chris Green (2-23) was also influential.

The result saw the Thunder leapfrog cross-town rivals the Sydney Sixers into top spot.

"It's always nice to be sitting above them for now," McAndrew said with a smile.

"It (top spot) is where we want to be. We consider ourselves a definite contender in this tournament and we want to go deep into the finals. Being on top of the table is a good feeling."

Hobart remain in third, three points behind the Thunder.

The Thunder got off to a lightning start to their innings, plundering 48 from the four-over powerplay.

Khawaja and Hales combined for a quick-fire 59-run opening stand before Short (3-26 off four overs) spun an unexpected web of destruction.

Short dismissed Hales, Khawaja and Sam Billings in his first three overs, with the triple blow putting the brakes on the Thunder's charge.

The Thunder battled to 5-117 after 16 overs before Ross (44no off 33 balls) and Ben Cutting (31no off 14 balls) added some late fireworks.

The Hurricanes suffered a big blow before the match when paceman Riley Meredith suffered a suspected rib injury during the warm-up and was pulled from the match.

Thunder allrounder Daniel Sams was overlooked for selection after suffering a second concussion in less than two weeks, and he'll also miss Saturday's clash with the Scorchers.