Thunder fizzle despite Gayle strikes
Chris Gayle turned in an allround performance taking 2/5 and scoring 65 (43b, 4x6 6x4) but could not stop his team Sydney Thunder from losing to the Melbourne Stars in their Big Bash League game at the MCG on Tuesday.
Having been put in to bowl first, Gayle provided his side the breakthrough with a direct hit from the covers to run out Luke Wright. Stars fought back with partnerships between Brad Hodge, David Hussey and Glenn Maxwell to give them a decent platform to launch a final assault in the closing overs.
The Thunder bowlers however did a great job to restrict them, from 108/3 in the 14th over the Stars finished at 145/8. Gayle bowled the last over, conceding 5 runs for the wickets of John Hastings and Dimitri Mascarenhas.
It gave Thunder a chance to end a 12 match losing streak which runs back to the previous season of the Big Bash League.
Gayle also took it upon himself to take his team over the line. With just 72 runs in 6 matches in the current season he was determined to break out of the rut and went on the charge early. Faulkner, Bird, Hastings and Mascarenhas were all taken for runs, the last two being hit for 19 and 12 runs as Gayle brought up his 50 off just 25 balls, the fastest in the current edition of the tournament. He did have luck with Cameron White dropping a skier when he was on 34.
There was no support at the other end however. His opening partner Simon Keen went for 4 in the second over while Matt Prior struggled to score, plodding around for 16 ball 7. His dismissal in the 13th over though saw Thunder spiral out of control.
From 91/2 after 12 overs they collapsed to 132 all out in 19.4 overs to record their 13 straight loss in the Big Bash League, Gayle’s Man of the Match award being the only consolation of the night.