Wade helps Hurricanes to crucial BBL win

Scott Bailey |

Matthew Wade has top-scored for the Hobart Hurricanes in their BBL win over the Sydney Thunder.
Matthew Wade has top-scored for the Hobart Hurricanes in their BBL win over the Sydney Thunder.

Hobart Hurricanes have put one foot in the Big Bash League finals after a Matthew Wade half-century helped power them to a crucial nine-run win over the Sydney Thunder.

After Wade’s unbeaten 83 from 54 balls pushed the Hurricanes to 6-177, the Thunder seemed set for their seventh-straight win after the best powerplay of the competition.

But the Sydney team slumped from 2-92 after eight overs to 6-102, as part of a mid-innings collapse sparked by Jordan Thompson (3-24).

Thompson removed the Thunder’s two dangermen in Alex Hales (38 from 17) and Jason Sangha (31 from 19), ripping the heart out of the chase.

Riley Meredith (3-29) then tore through the middle order, bowling both Ollie Davies and Ben Cutting in successive balls to stunt the chase.

The win tightened the Hurricanes’ grip on fourth place, nine points clear of Brisbane Heat in sixth.

With just three games to play for the chasing pack, Hobart would need to lose both their remaining matches and have results go against them to miss the top-five finals.

The second-placed Thunder’s hopes of securing top spot are as good as over, seven points behind the Perth Scorchers with two matches to play.

Wade’s innings came on return from personal leave, hitting eight boundaries and two big sixes in his knock.

One of those included putting the ball into the second tier of the grandstand off Nathan McAndrew, hitting hard over the legside boundary.

He was dropped on 18 when he offered up an easy chance to Tanveer Sangha, while also surviving a run-out opportunity that same ball and caught-behind appeal the following over.

But Australia’s Twenty20 World Cup hero rode his luck well, hanging around as the Hurricanes lost 5-22 in the middle of their innings.

It came after Wade had endured a disappointing campaign, barely making an impact outside of his big score of 93 against the Sixers in the opening rounds.

Opener Caleb Jewell struck 51 in the Hurricanes’ win, as part of 89-run second-wicket stand with Wade.