Hurricanes exacted revenge for their defeat three nights ago with a nine-run win as Thunder suffered a middle-order collapse
Hobart Hurricanes 6 for 177 (Wade 83*, Jewell 51, Sandhu 2-27) beat Sydney Thunder 9 for 168 (Hales 38, Thompson 3-24, Meredith 3-29, Lamichhane 2-26) by nine runs
After missing two matches due to personal reasons, Wade’s 54-ball knock held Hurricanes’ innings together after they elected to bat before speedster Meredith tore through Thunder’s vaunted batting order with three wickets in a see-saw contest.
Wade returns in style
Having hit two of his three BBL tons at Marvel Stadium, Ben McDermott eyed another big score but Thunder had his number again as he fell for 18. For the second straight match, he fell to a slower delivery after being deceived by Daniel Sams in the fifth over.
It brought Wade to the crease, who returned after missing two matches due to personal reasons and he came in at No. 3 instead of his customary position at the top. Having struggled for most of the season, Wade’s timing was impeccable with a powerful boundary second ball and then smashed legspinner Tanveer Sangha for two boundaries in the seventh over.
Having watched the carnage around him, an unperturbed Wade lifted Hurricanes with a late flurry. Hurricanes still haven’t quite got the balance right in their batting order but a rejuvenated Wade at No. 3 appears a winner.
Thunder hit back after ragged start
Thunder appeared to be wilting amid the Wade and Jewell carnage marked by ragged bowling and sloppy fielding. But they weren’t rattled and impressively fought back to spectacularly flip the script. In-form seamer Gurinder Sandhu claimed two wickets in a momentum-shifting 13th over as Thunder tore through Hurricanes’ susceptible middle order.
They claimed five wickets in a devastating 25-ball burst punctuated by a scintillating yorker by Mohammad Hasnain to clean up an ashen-faced Jordan Thompson in the 17th over. Apart from leaking 16 runs in the 12th over, Hasnain was again irrepressible with full, and fast, bowling.
But the disciplined Thunder would have been disappointed with their bowling and fielding in the first 10 overs which ultimately proved costly.
Meredith sizzles with pace
Apart from taking the wicket of Matthew Gilkes in the first over, Meredith was struggling with his rhythm and his wayward bowling promptly suffered a hammering from Alex Hales. Fellow seamer Tom Rogers, their leading wicket-taker this season, didn’t fare any better as an under-siege Hurricanes lost their nerve with Thunder’s 1 for 56 the most runs scored by any team in the powerplay this season.
They clawed back through Thompson claiming the key wickets of Hales and stand-in skipper Jason Sangha, who fell to a superb slower ball. Then Meredith swung the match spectacularly in the 11th over by clean bowling Ollie Davies and Ben Cutting with sheer pace as Hurricanes gained a stranglehold.
Meredith, who played five T20Is for Australia last year, had an interrupted start to the BBL season and only took three wickets in his last five matches. With his lethal pace and full-length prowess on song, the 25-year-old issued a timely reminder to national selectors.
Thunder rocked by middle-order collapse
Hales smashed David’s spin for five boundaries in the second over and raced to 27 off just 10 deliveries after he flicked a fast delivery from Meredith for six. His whirlwind 17-ball 38 ended in the fifth over but Thunder still looked on course until they lost 4 for 10 mid-innings.
Nathan McAndrew tried his best at the end to conjure a miraculous victory but it wasn’t enough as Thunder lost for the first time since December 26.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth