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article imageSydney Thunder spark up the Big Bash League

By Ed Robinson     Dec 28, 2015 in Sports
Sydney Thunder show they are the team to beat this season after defeating the Adelaide Strikers to remain unbeaten in the 2015-16 edition of the Big Bash League.
In Australia's premier t20 Cricket tournament the Sydney Thunder made short work of the Adelaide Strikers in their top of the table showdown to win by 7 wickets at Sydney's Spotless Stadium. Making them the only side to win all their games so far.
Captained by Australian veteran Michael Hussey, the Thunder reached Adelaide's first innings total of 117 with 21 balls to spare, with all-rounder Jacques Kallis top scoring with 49 runs from 48 deliveries. However it is the introduction of Andre Russell to the Big Bash that has captured all the headlines with the powerful Jamaican now leading the way in the wicket taking standings with seven. And it didn't take him long to notch his first of two wickets today as he struck with the first delivery of the match with Strikers opener Tim Ludeman playing at a short pitched delivery that edged to wicket keeper Chris Hartley. Thunder's Clint McKay also stared with figures of (2 wickets/18 runs off 3 overs).
After being two wickets down in the second over, the Strikers did well to recover to 117. Brad Hodge and Adil Rashid the pick of the batsmen (34-33 & 25-18). In reply, Thunder cruised to 66 runs before Aiden Blizzard fell for 35 off 29. Russell made a short, hard hitting cameo of 17 off 7 before being caught in the deep leaving Kallis to finish the job with a well struck boundary.
It has not been plain sailing for the Thunder throughout the five editions of the BBL. They once endured a 753 day - and 19 game losing streak between 2011 and 2014 and were well known as being the 'whipping boys' of the group stage, finishing last in the first three seasons. But under coach Paddy Upton the Thunder have turned around their fortunes to be the front runners for this edition. The signings of Australian all rounder Shane Watson, Clint Mckay and Andre Russell and their retention of the likes of Michael Hussey, Gurinder Sandhu and Usman Khawaja have molded a winning mentality that will make the Sydney Thunder very difficult to beat.
This season they defeated local rivals the Sydney Sixers for the first time in eight attempts, before seeing of the Melbourne Stars in their second clash.
Captain Michael Hussey was full of praise for his Sydney team mates:
“I think it was a brilliant performance all round. Getting those early wickets put them under pressure and they couldn’t get any momentum during their innings. Having guys like Chris Green and Ben Rohrer running those boundaries for us, they are key players and we try and get them into the hot spots as much as possible. They are gun fielders and tonight they showed how good they are.”
The Thunder will now turn their attention to 2016, with a match against the Hurricanes in Hobart on New Years Day before heading to Brisbane to play the Heat two days later. Adelaide face Sydney Sixers on December 31st.
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