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Big Bash: Thunder's win a 'massive monkey off back'

Date

Alex Nicholson

At last: Mike Hussey celebrates a wicket.

At last: Mike Hussey celebrates a wicket. Photo: Getty Images

Gurinder Sandhu described the Sydney Thunder's thumping nine-wicket win over the Melbourne Renegades as ''a massive monkey off the back'' and said the beleaguered team was determined to finish the Big Bash League on a high.

Sandhu said despite the Thunder's losing streak, which had stretched back over two seasons and more than 750 days, the mood within the Thunder camp had always been upbeat.

''It's been unbelievable; when we get to training everyone's having a laugh and having fun. After the game last night we did have a few extra beers, but now it's all about looking ahead to the last game and hopefully finishing with another win,'' Sandhu said.

''It's a massive monkey off the back. We've all been working so hard, all the guys and Mike [Hussey, Sydney Thunder captain], Chandika [Hathurusinghe, coach] and all the support staff behind the scenes, we've all been working our butts off so it was great to finally notch up a win.''

The Thunder's last game of the season will be on January 25, when they take on cross-town rivals Sydney Sixers.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Melbourne Renegades were bowled out for 104 in 18.3 overs, with man-of-the-match Sandhu claiming 3-21 off 4 overs, including the wicket of danger man Aaron Finch for a second-ball duck. In reply the Thunder chased down the modest total with 51 balls to spare, with openers Usman Khawaja (46 not out off 34) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (46 off 29) putting on 89 for the first wicket.

Sandhu said he always felt a win was around the corner, it was just a question of every player in the Thunder team ''clicking on the same night''.

''In the first three games we came close [to winning] but only three or four of our players had performed, whereas last night everyone did well, it was a great team effort,'' he said on Wednesday. ''We always knew that if everyone in the team played to the best of their ability, we could beat any team we came up against,'' Sandhu said.

Sandhu said the discussion in the Thunder dugout during the innings break was just about playing naturally. ''The plan was, if it's there, hit it. [Tillakaratne] Dilshan is naturally an aggressive player, Uzzie [Usman Khawaja] can be pretty aggressive too, he jumps on any half-volleys or half-trackers, so it was all about just playing naturally and backing yourself,'' Sandhu said.

The Thunder's win is a body blow for the seventh-placed Melbourne Renegades, who are now in danger of missing out on a place in the semi-finals, with two games left to play.

1 comment so far

  • 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.

    Commenter
    Amith_Manoj
    Date and time
    January 15, 2014, 9:16PM

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