'Flabbergasted': Thunder's mind-boggling 70 after hellish week as Heat star sinks in scary moment

‘Flabbergasted’: Thunder’s mind-boggling 70 after hellish week as Heat star sinks in scary moment

Brisbane batsman Jimmy Peirson was bowled by a brutal 132km/h delivery but it was the Thunder openers who inflicted the most pain in a 10-wicket victory at the Sydney Exhibition Grounds.

Set just 122 for victory on Tuesday, milestone Alex Hales (59* off 36) in his 50th BBL match and Matt Gilkes (56* off 34) needed just 70 balls to complete the job – registering the best opening partnership of the BBL season to end Sydney’s Horror Week.

The duo “cashed in” in the 11th over, smashing Mitchell Swepson for 25 runs – including a massive six that left one Sydney fan bloodied in the crowd.

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Hales then made sure the match was over with eight overs to spare when he smashed three fours in four balls to take the Thunder home.

“This is a great performance,” praised Fox Cricket’s Brian Lara.

“I didn’t see that!” added commentator Dan Christian.

“Thunder is too good.

“I’m a little overwhelmed by that.

“The way the Heat batted, it looked like the goal was devilish.

In the match for the first time since the dismissal of star import Fazalhaq Farooqi, Thunder skipper Chris Green (2-14) led the way with the ball before Daniel Sams (two wickets in two balls) did the damage in a heat surge. .

Brisbane opener Colin Munro (43 off 47) and Peirson tried to keep the Heat in the contest but a brutal blow to the head rocked the 30-year-old and his wicket fell minutes later.

It’s the second time in less than a week that Peirson has taken a hit to the helmet after taking one to the back of the head against the Renegades last Wednesday night.

The keeper was caught by Nathan McAndrew’s rising delivery as a fine top edge fired the ball into his helmet.

The ball then ricocheted off Peirson’s neck and shoulder, knocking him to his knees as Thunder players rushed to his aid.

“It’s hard to watch!” Fox Cricket commentator Dan Christian said.

“That did him good.

“He had one in Geelong on the back of his head (against the Renegades), now this.

Earlier, Green dismissed Max Bryant (1 off 7) and Matt Renshaw (9 off 10) in a devastating spell at the Sydney Exhibition Grounds.

The proud Sydney club have endured a BBL campaign from hell in their first four games, sitting bottom of the table with just one win.

But they found form in the field Tuesday night, sending former Thunder teammate Sam Billings back to the dugout for just 1.

The Heat simply couldn’t get any momentum with the bat as they struggled to 3-44 at the halfway mark.

“They’re going to have to take some risks if they want to get there,” Christian said.

“If they put all their eggs into overdrive and it doesn’t pay off, they end up with a pretty average score.”

Brisbane assistant coach Darren Lehmann admitted 130 was what the side were after – but they couldn’t get there despite a late strike from Xavier Bartlett (28* off 17).

They lost wickets at regular intervals, with Usman Qadir making his mark in his first match since replacing Farooqi as a Thunder import – not conceding a boundary in his 1-19 from four overs.

Jason Sangha’s tournament is over. Image: Darrian TraynorSource: Getty Images

The big win came at the best possible time for the Thunder, after plenty of drama including pre-tournament controversy with David Warner’s bungled bid to potentially captain despite his Cricket Australia lifetime ban.

Then the team hit a record low in one of the most embarrassing T20 performances of all time as they were all out for just 15 against the Strikers. They lost captain Jason Sangha – probably for the rest of the tournament – to a brutal injury when he broke his collarbone in the loss to Melbourne Renegades.

But the drama didn’t end with Farooqi’s revelation – one of the best in tough times, she was sent home to Afghanistan after allegedly harassing cricket staff.

Despite CA opening an investigation into the December 15 incident, Farooqi was able to play in the Thunder’s next three games before being called to send him home last Friday.

‘Clean up a few stance areas…’ | 01:00


Thunder: Alex Hales, Matthew Gilkes (wk), Rilee Rossouw, Oliver Davies, Daniel Sams, Alex Ross, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Green (c), Gurinder Sandhu, Brendan Doggett, Usman Qadir

Heat: Max Bryant, Colin Munro, Matthew Renshaw, Sam Billings, Jimmy Peirson (c) (week), Ross Whiteley, Michael Neser, Xavier Bartlett, Mark Steketee, Matt Kuhnemann, Mitch Swepson

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