Hales helps extend Thunder's BBL streak
Import Alex Hales has cracked an unbeaten 80 from 56 balls as the Sydney Thunder extended their Big Bash League winning run to six games.
The Thunder cruised to a nine-wicket victory over the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday at the MCG, chasing down their target of 140 with 16 balls to spare.
Hales, who has posted back-to-back BBL half-centuries, shared a 106-run partnership with stand-in skipper Jason Sangha (35no from 31 balls) which ironed out the bulk of the total.
The 33-year-old was measured early but unleashed late, launching a straight six off speedster Riley Meredith, to register his highest score of the tournament.
Hales' last 30 runs came off just 12 deliveries.
"I got there eventually. The first 20 or 30 balls were hard work, I thought they bowled really well. It was quite a difficult pitch to get your timing," he told Fox Cricket.
"We just tried to take it as deep as we could and cash-in in the surge, and fortunately we did that."
Sydney remains in second position on the ladder, while the Hurricanes are in fourth with six losses and five wins.
"We're really confident as a squad. I feel like we're improving game by game," Hales said.
"The bowlers have been outstanding for the last six wins. It's been a real good team effort so far and every batter seems to be in form as well, which is a great space to be in as a team."
Thunder quicks Nathan McAndrew (2-31) and Gurinder Sandhu (2-32) did the damage with the ball to help restrict the Hurricanes to 6-139.
McAndrew claimed the big scalp of in-form Hurricanes opener Ben McDermott (38 from 34 balls) in the 10th over after getting rid of Caleb Jewell cheaply inside the powerplay.
The Hurricanes struggled to get out of second gear and went without a boundary for 42 balls through the middle overs.
Hobart made life harder for themselves, grassing several tough chances during the Thunder chase. D'Arcy Short (29 from 24 balls) showed a glimpse of his best with three consecutive boundaries late in Hobart's innings, batting in the unfamiliar position of No.5.
Young legspinner Tanveer Sangha picked up 1-22 for the Thunder, including the wicket of Peter Handscomb (22 from 25 balls) who was out stumped. Hobart will be sweating on the return of skipper Matthew Wade, who has missed the last two games on indefinite leave for personal reasons.
The Hurricanes and Thunder meet again on Thursday at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium.