Watson leads Thunder to back-to-back victories

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Shane Watson hit a crisp half century as Sydney Thunder made it back-to-back wins in the Big Bash League with a six-wicket victory over Hobart Hurricanes.

After losing their opening four matches of the 2016-17 edition, the defending champions finally got off the mark against the Melbourne Stars last time out and Sunday's win - their first against Hobart in the BBL - boosts their top-four hopes.

A disciplined bowling display from the Thunder helped restrict Hobart to 161-8 from their 20 overs, George Bailey's unbeaten 69 at least boosting the stuttering hosts to a respectable total.

But while Bailey was composed his team-mates floundered under pressure and, after Carlos Brathwaite (2-31) marked his BBL arrival with two wickets, there were two run outs before the end of the innings.

The Hurricanes may have struggled to get going with the bat, but the visitors had no such issues as Kurtis Patterson (23), debutant James Vince (44) and Watson (55) eased them to within touching distance of victory.

Ben Rohrer added an unbeaten 28 but it was left to Pat Cummins to score the winning run - his only one of the match - as the Thunder moved level with the four sides above them on four points.

 

BAILEY SENDS TIMELY REMINDER

What better way to answer your critics than to score your second half century of the tournament, something perfectly executed by Bailey.

The Hurricanes skipper was left of Australia's latest one-day squad due to a lack of runs, so his 69 not out will serve as a timely reminder to the selectors over his quality.

He reached 50 in sensational style, too, with a huge 99-metre six over long-on off the bowling of Watson. Bailey clearing his front leg and giving it everything he had to clear the boundary.

 

WATSON AND VINCE FIRE THUNDER HOME

Losing Eoin Morgan could have been a big blow for the Thunder after his match-winning knock against the Stars, but his England team-mate Vince deputised superbly. 

Vince looked composed at the crease in his 28-ball 44, the opener hitting six boundaries and one maximum to give Watson the platform to build on.

And build on it he did, after four scores less than three so far in the tournament the veteran finally found his mojo with a stunning half century that saw him clear the ropes on five occasions - a perfectly timed return to form.

 

BRATHWAITE DABS HIS BBL ARRIVAL

What better way to mark your first Big Bash appearance for the Thunder than with two crucial wickets, and what better way to celebrate than with a Paul Pogba-esque dab...all yours Carlos Brathwaite.