Canberra: The second-biggest domestic T20 Franchise based league, Big Bash League 12 started at the Manuka Oval earlier today. In the tournament opener, Sydney Thunder defeated Melbourne Stars by one wicket.
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The Thunders after winning the toss elected to bowl first. The Stars lost both of their openers in the powerplay. Nick Larkin attempted a rebuild with Joe Burns but failed to see through as the latter declared retired hurt. The Stars’ big hope Marcus Stoinis fell prey to Chris Green for a golden duck. Among the Thunders’ bowling line-up, Gurinder Sandhu, Fazalhaq Farooqi, and Daniel Sams each took two wickets. Meanwhile, Brendan Doggett and Chris Green managed one each. The Stars at the end of twenty overs were reduced to 122, setting a target of 123.
The Thunders did not have the best opening. In the second and third ball f the innings, Trent Boult took out Matt Gilkes and Rilee Roussouw respectively. After the initial blowout, captain Jason Sangha and Alex Ross steered the ship for quite a while. However, the constant loss of momentum affected the Thunder’s innings. In the final over, The Thunders had three wickets in hand and eight runs to go.
Beau Webster put down Chris Green and Fazalhaq Farooqi with some beautiful bowling in the first two balls in the over. On the third ball, Brendan Doggett nicked a run passing the strike to Sandhu. Sandhu, who raised hopes with a boundary last over cleared the ropes leveling the scores. The pressure build on as Webster managed a dot in the fifth ball. The match seemed to move towards a super over. However, in the last ball, aided by a rookie wicketkeeper mistake, Sandhu managed a run out of a bye handing the Thunders a major victory.
Gurinder Sandhu was adjudged the Man of the Match for his match-winning performance in the tournament opener of Big Bash League 12. He scored 20 runs off 16 in addition to the two key wickets in the first innings.
The Thunders move to the top of the table. They will play against past champions Adelaide Strikers on Friday. The Stars on the other hand will play their first home game at the MCG against Hobert on the same day.
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