Aaron Finch is confident he can shake off a demoralising night with the Melbourne Renegades to resume his batting heroics for Australia.
Finch smashed 121 for Australia in their one-day win over England on Sunday, but hit a low yesterday when he was bowled for a duck as the Renegades seemingly crashed out of Big Bash League semi-final contention.
Finch says the result is big come-down, but that he is pushing it aside and focusing on Friday’s second one-day against England.
The Sydney Thunder’s win was their first in the Big Bash League since December 2011 after crushing the Renegades by nine wickets on Tuesday night.
Chasing 105 to win in heatwave conditions, the Thunder improved their win-loss record to 1-6 this summer after scoring 1-105 with 8.3 overs to spare.
Openers Tillakaratne Dilshan (46) and Usman Khawaja (46 not out) added 89 for the first wicket before Dilshan fell to James Pattinson’s bowling in the 10th over.
A jubilant skipper Mike Hussey was unbeaten on nine and hit the winning run to fittingly share a rare moment of joy in a heartbreaking season.
“I’m very proud of the guys,” Hussey said, describing the win as comprehensive.
“It’s something we haven’t had for a long time.”
The Thunder’s previous victory was against Adelaide Strikers at ANZ Stadium on December 23, 2011. Tuesday’s win breaks a 19-game losing streak.
The Renegades chose to bat on Tuesday and were bowled out for 104 in 18.3 overs.
The home side narrowly avoided the lowest BBL innings total at Etihad Stadium, which is the 9-102 by Hobart Hurricanes in December 2012.
Facing temperatures in the 40s, the Thunder showed plenty of spirit in the field led by paceman Gurinder Sandhu who took 3-21.
Sandhu made a huge breakthrough with the second delivery of the match, bowling the competition’s leading runscorer Aaron Finch for a duck. The opener has been in sensational form, scoring 262 runs at an average of 52.40 in the BBL plus a century in Sunday’s one-day international against England at the MCG.
Test-squad member Alex Doolan (eight) also fell victim to Sandhu after failing to clear mid on with the total on 11.
Ben Rohrer (22) added 50 for the third wicket with Dan Harris (30). The loss of Rohrer triggered a collapse of 8-43. Sri Lanka import spinner Ajantha Mendis claimed a tidy 2-15 off his four overs.
The loss was the Renegades’ fourth in six starts, leaving them with a poor run-rate and the desperate need to win their final two games to push for a semi-final berth.
Adelaide Strikers step out next on Saturday afternoon at Adelaide Oval.
The Renegades host Sydney Sixers at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night while the Thunder’s season ends with a derby clash against the Sixers at ANZ Stadium on January 25.
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