Thunder bow out despite win over Hobart
Sydney Thunder missed out on a Big Bash League finals spot despite a four-wicket victory over table-toppers Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday.
The Thunder needed to win their rain-affected last match of the regular season in 11.3 overs or less to have any chance of making the top four but missed out at Manuka Oval.
George Bailey (53 from 35 balls), captain Matthew Wade (45) and Ben McDermott (44 not out) were in the runs as the Hurricanes posted 165-4 from 19 overs following a rain delay.
Callum Ferguson made a rapid 47 as the Thunder beat a Hobart side already assured of top spot and a home semi-final, yet it was not enough to sneak a place in the semi-finals.
Melbourne Stars will take fourth place at the expense of Brisbane Heat if they beat second-placed Sydney Sixers on Sunday.
Not quite the run storm they needed, but the @ThunderBBL got out on a high #BBL08pic.twitter.com/pplZNaKnpD— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) February 9, 2019
WADE CLOSES IN ON SHORT, CUMMINS THE PICK
Wade has been in outstanding form for the Hurricanes in their pursuit of a first BBL title and now only has 12 runs fewer than team-mate D'Arcy Short - the leading run-scorer in the tournament.
The wicketkeeper-batsman missed out on what would have been a fifth half-century in his last six innings, but showed his class after being dropped twice early on by Fawad Ahmed before play was halted due to the weather.
Wade smashed Pat Cummins (2-29) over backward square and into the stands and hammered Fawad over the ropes after Short and Caleb Jewell fell cheaply.
Cummins - fresh from starring in Australia's Test-series whitewash of Sri Lanka - snared Wade caught behind with a rapid delivery to leave the Hurricanes 71-3 in the 10th over after removing Short early on.
BAILEY AND MCDERMOTT ALL-BUT END THUNDER HOPES
The experienced Bailey and the clean-striking McDermott combined for a 94-run stand to all-but end the Thunder's bid to prolong their season.
McDermott was struck on the throat in a win over Melbourne Renegades on Thursday, but launched Daniel Sams for a massive six to take the Hurricanes to 100 in an impressive knock.
Bailey struck the expensive Gurinder Sandhu and Chris Jordan over the ropes as the runs continued to flow.
FERGUSON KNOCK IN VAIN
The Thunder were never going to be home by the time they needed to be despite getting off to a great start.
Shane Watson hit a six and two fours in a first over from Riley Meredith that went for 16, but he was dismissed by the same bowler with just 15 to his name.
Usman Khawaja was struck on the helmet by Meredith, but went on to make 36 from 21 balls as the Thunder ensured they would not bow out with a whimper.
Ferguson was dropped by Jofra Archer when he was only on one and took advantage of that reprieve, while Chris Green made an unbeaten 34 in a consolation victory despite impressive spells from Qais Ahmad (2-22) and Short (2-27).