Sydney brings the Thunder to down ‘Gades

SYDNEY Thunder rallied behind opener Matthew Gilkes to claim an eight-wicket win over Melbourne Renegades at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Thursday night.

Chasing quite a low total of 143, the Thunder had no problems getting the job done in the second innings, securing the win with nine balls to spare, much to the dismay of Renegades fans who were expecting a stronger performance.

The result breaks Sydney’s three game losing streak, putting it back to a record of six wins and six losses, and right in the hunt for a top two spot. Meanwhile, the Renegades entered the match one win ahead of their opponent, but have now dropped back down to level pegging, an only sit in third based on percentage.

Melbourne won the toss and opted to bat on the road, looking to get the likes of Martin Guptil and Jake Fraser-McGurk involved early. Although the pair survived a horror start from Sydney bowler Daniel Sams (who produced one of the most bizarre overs in recent memory, completely missing the pitch with one of his deliveries), the latter was dismissed for just five runs. Sam Harper was the next to fall, not troubling the scorers too much with just eight runs next to his name, but Guptil and Will Sutherland lifted, and although 143 was not a whole lot, it could be defended.

Thunder openers Gilkes and David Warner fired to start Sydney’s innings at the crease, putting together a 50-run partnership in less than eight overs. Warner fell at the hands of Renegades debutant Corey Rocchiccioli, who also dismissed Oliver Davies for a duck, and looked to have claimed the opposition’s top three batsmen when Gilkes skied one of his deliveries. However, Fawad Ahmed spilled the regulation catch, and the moment was a genuine momentum shifter. Suddenly, Melbourne looked in no danger of disrupting Gilkes and Alex Ross, and the duo steered the Thunder to a convincing victory.

Gilkes was named Player of the Match for his powerful knock at the top of the order (74 off 55), which proved to be a game-winning performance. Although he began walking off the pitch after the ball dropped towards Ahmed, fortune appeared to be on his side as he delivered a comprehensive knock. Ross finished on 40 runs from 32 deliveries in a strong outing, while Chris Green and Usman Qadir picked up two wickets apiece.

Sutherland was a shining light for the ‘Gades, producing a telling performance with bat in hand to get his side into a winning position. He finished with 42 runs off 23 balls in the middle of the order, and played some veteran-like shots during his time at the crease. Guptil had 30 runs of his own, looking confident as an opening batsmen. He and Fraser-McGurk combining well at the top of the order has allowed skipper Aaron Finch to drop down to four and impact the game even more.


RESULT: Sydney Thunder (2/144) def. Melbourne Renegades (9/142)
POTM: Matthew Gilkes (Melbourne Renegades)
TOSS: Melbourne Renegades won the toss and opted to bat


Sydney Sixers:
Matthew Gilkes (74), Alex Ross (40)
Usman Qadir (2/20), Chris Green (2/24)

Melbourne Renegades:
Will Sutherland (42), Martin Guptil (30)
Corey Rocchiccioli (2/25)

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