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Dumped Bailey makes a statement, but so does Sydney Thunder


Dumped Australian one-day star George Bailey has let his bat do the talking with a Big Bash half-century that could have selectors questioning their decision.

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A day after he was omitted from the 14-man limited overs squad to take on Pakistan in the upcoming ODI series, Bailey made an unbeaten 69 for Hobart Hurricanes at Bellerive Oval last night.

The former ODI skipper’s innings included seven boundaries and a six but he refused to have a verbal dig at selectors or comment on his exclusion.

“I’m hitting the ball nicely I reckon,” he said after the match.

And does batting form in the shortest format translate to the one-day game?

“I’m not sure, we won’t find out now will we!”

Australian coach Darren Lehmann said the decision to leave out Bailey was a tough one, but pointed to the the 34-year-old Tasmanian’s poor batting form, averaging just 13 in the past seven games.

“It’s down to performances from George. So he’s got to go back and make big runs,” Lehmann said.

“The door’s not shut on any of those players. With Champions Trophy coming up, George has got to perform well and really put his case forward.”

Along with Bailey, Aaron Finch and Hilton Cartwright were also axed from the ODI squad.

Despite Bailey’s heroics with the bat, skipper Shane Watson blasted Sydney Thunder to their second Big Bash win for the season with a six-wicket victory over the Hurricanes.

Set 162 for victory at Bellerive Oval on Sunday night the visitors reached 4-162 with 19 balls to spare in a result that gives them two wins from six matches this season.

Watson (55) reached his half century with his fifth six of the innings, and was caught behind on the next delivery.

His contribution, together with that of BBL debutant and new import James Vince (44) had Thunder set up for success.

Replacing countryman Eoin Morgan who has been recalled for duty by England, Vince on Sunday made an impressive 44 from 28 deliveries including six boundaries and a six.

Watson won the toss and told Hobart to bat first and the hosts made a shaky start finding themselves at 2-10.

But on a nice Hobart pitch Bailey reached his half-century from 43 balls, including five boundaries and a six, and pushed on to top up a wanting Hurricanes’ total.

He was given a lifeline on 60 when dropped on the boundary by Chris Green.

In perhaps a nod to the future the Hurricanes dumped star international signing Kumar Sangakkara for Sunday’s match.

Batting mostly at No.3 for, the former Sri Lankan Test skipper’s top score this season is just 22 not out.

He was replaced by BBL debutant Ben McDermott (31) who took just 23 deliveries to surpass Sangakkara’s best.

Batting with Bailey, the son of former Test paceman Craig McDermott was run out after being slow to move after playing a shot, the Hurricanes ultimately finishing at 8-161.

New Thunder international Carlos Brathwaite (2-31) and Pat Cummins (2-36) did most of the damage with the ball.

Watson thanked openers Vince and Kurtis Patterson (23) for giving him a chance to settle at the crease.

“(They) gave me a bit of time to get my innings going and it was nice to be able to finally get a few out of the middle which I’ve been dreaming of over the last month,” the skipper said.

Bailey was harsh in self-analysis and said the side overall was disappointed with their batting total.

“It was an awful innings and I was pretty angry about it and think it’s one of the main reasons we lost the game,” Bailey said of his contribution.

“I wasted too many balls, got stuck in the middle and I ran out the bloke (McDermott) who was hitting the ball the cleanest of anyone in our group.”


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