Big Bash League 2015-2016 is underway with the match already being a record breaking one. Both Sydney teams initiated the proceedings with Sydney Thunder breaking their record eight losses by winning this one against Syndey Sixers.
Mr. Cricket Michael Hussey was the star performer amongst the men in green as his score of 80 not out helped the Thunder team win Sydney Smash, the battle between the two Sydney teams, for the first time in four seasons. Supporting his captain was Andre Russell who bowled his way through the Sixers’ batting line-up with his 3/13.
Sydney Thunder set up a par target score for 158/4, which Sydney Sixers faltered to achieve by bundling out at mere 122 all out. Here we look at the Top 5 players who changed the course of the game through their performances –
5. Michael Lumb (Sixers)
Opening batsman for the men in pink, Lumb started off brilliantly. His 27-ball-34 was starting to look frightening for the Thunder bowlers. Four boundaries in his innings shows he rotated strike frequently along with sending the ball to the boundary. His striking start was brought to a complete halt when he got plumbed leg before from a Kallis delivery. Being the only player from his team to feature on this list, his presence on the pitch could have had some changes on the final result.
4. Ben Rohrer (Thunder)
Coming in at the final stages of the innings, Rohrer had a cameo role to play. His 20-ball-30 innings including 2 boundaries and a six boosted the Thunder’s score by a significant margin. His stint on the crease along with Michael Hussey resulted in the ball being sent to the fence very frequently from both ends of the wicket.
3. Shane Watson (Thunder)
Retiring from the longer format of the game, Watson showed a glimpse of his potential that still remains with him through his batting. Scoring a boundary and a six in his 12-ball-16, he couldn’t shake the opposition bowlers much as the men in pink got the better of him. With batting not helping his stay in the team, he decided to make an impression through his bowling. With figures of 2-0-13-3, he sweeped the middle-order of the Sixers with ease who were once known to bounce back from any situation.
2. Andre Russell (Thunder)
The big-hitter from West Indies does not fail to leave his footprint in almost every game he plays. Known for striking the ball direct to the stands, that too in regular intervals, Russell’s bat fell short of hitting the ball, reason being lack of ball faced. That deficiency was very well covered by his bowling as took key wickets of dangerous-looking opener Brad Haddin, captain Nick Maddinson and spinner Nathon Lyon. Bowling the only maiden over, he conceded just 13 runs from his 4 overs and taking 3 wickets of the opposite team.
1. Michael Hussey (Thunder)
Rising up to his popular name, Mr. Cricket thrashed the bowlers all around the park in his very first outing of the season. Coming in at 3, the captain of Sydney Thunder stabilized his team’s innings after his team were reduced to 18/1. He left the ground only after the last ball was bowled as no bowler was able to rattle his stumps. Scoring 80 runs off just 59 balls with 5 boundaries and 4 sixes, he scored nearly half of his team’s total, leading his team from the front. Bowling changes at crucial stages under his leadership saw Syndey Sixers tumble down to 122 in 20 overs. Deserving the Man of the Match title, which he received, Michael Hussey looks certain to carry-on the batting fireworks from his side and leading his team to victories in upcoming matches.