Hurricanes go top as Wade silences Thunder
Captain Matthew Wade led from the front as Hobart Hurricanes defeated Sydney Thunder to take over top spot in the Big Bash League.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Wade made 85 from 49 deliveries to help the undefeated Hurricanes overhaul their opponents' score of 193-6 and make it three wins from three.
George Bailey produced a late cameo following the departure of his skipper - taking 22 runs off the penultimate over - to see the hosts over the line with seven wickets and five balls to spare at Blundstone Arena.
Jos Buttler had earlier made 89 - the highest score in this season's competition - for previously unbeaten Sydney, who had led the table going into Friday's fixture.
But, having successfully defended sizeable totals in wins over Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers, the Thunder struggled to contain the Hurricanes, not aided by dropped catches in the field and costly no-balls.
What a win!!!— Hobart Hurricanes (@HurricanesBBL) December 28, 2018
Thanks for all of the support tonight at Blundstone Arena, Hobart fans, especially during our run chase
We’ll see you on Sunday at University of Tasmania Stadium, Launceston #TasmaniasTeam #BBL08 pic.twitter.com/fus1fJvi06
OPENERS SET THE PLATFORM
Wade combined with D'Arcy Short in an opening stand worth 120 before a mix-up gifted Sydney a wicket at the start of the 13th over, the latter run out having made 58 from 39 deliveries.
Still, the setback did not deter the Hurricanes, with their skipper registering a second successive BBL half-century to keep his team on track.
Sam Rainbird claimed two wickets in the 18th over, following up the dismissal of the well-set Wade - who was caught at third man by Joe Root - by clean bowling Ben McDermott (22), but Bailey's late blitz finished the job.
BUTTLER SERVES UP ANOTHER TREAT
Having hit 63 in the Sydney derby last time out, England international Buttler blasted four sixes and eight fours. A century appeared possible until he planted a full toss back to bowler Jofra Archer midway through the 20th over.
Chris Green weighed in with an unbeaten 26 in the closing stages, helping the Thunder set a new benchmark for the highest team score in the 2018-19 BBL campaign.
That was until Hobart's reply, of course, as the Hurricanes - who lost to Adelaide Strikers in last season's final - came out on top in a high-scoring encounter to move two points clear at the summit.