Thunder's Sams, Hales set up big BBL win

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  • Alex Hales
    Alex Hales
    English cricketer
  • Daniel Sams
    American football player

Spectacular big hitting from Daniel Sams and Alex Hales has powered a still depleted but surging Sydney Thunder to a 129-run thrashing of the Melbourne Renegades and to second spot on the BBL ladder.

A career-best T20 score of 98 not out off 44 balls from Sams and a season-high 63 off 28 from Hales set up a formidable score of 7-209 at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

The Renegades' chase never got going as they crashed to 6-46 after 6.5 overs and were dismissed for 80 off just 14.2 overs.

It was the joint third-biggest margin in BBL history, equal with the Thunder's mauling of the Renegades in Canberra in 2020.

A fifth straight win moved the Thunder above Sydney Sixers and to within two points of the ladder-leading Perth Scorchers, who they have beaten twice.

Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Hasnain (3-23) took the last two wickets with successive deliveries, bowling Renegades top-scorer James Seymour (25) and Zahir Khan (0) to take his tally of wickets to six in just two games.

"Clinic! Well played boys," tweeted acting captain Chris Green, who was unavailable and isolated from the squad after being deemed a close contact with a person who tested positive to COVID-19.

Also unavailable was first-choice captain Usman Khawaja, who earlier on Saturday scored his second century of the Sydney Ashes Test.

The Thunder were also missing imports Sam Billings and Saqib Mahmood, both required by England, as well as Alex Ross and Sam Whiteman who are recovering from COVID.

Promoted to No.4, Sams thrashed eight sixes and seven fours in an innings of frightening brutality and clean hitting, especially square of the wicket.

The score easily exceeded his previous highest T20 score of 65 and he was responsible for all but one of the 28 power surge runs.

After being sent in the Thunder belted 14 sixes, with Englishman Hales clearing the boundary five times.

He rediscovered his touch and timing, after not passing 35 in his seven previous BBL innings.

When the Renegades batted, Sam Harper, Nic Maddinson and Mackenzie Harvey all fell to catches and Shaun Marsh was run out.

The home team, who were chasing a third straight win, had one stroke of luck as Aaron Finch (17 off 12) got a life on his third ball, with Nathan McAndrew spilling two attempts at a slips catch.

Any hopes the Renegades had of mounting a comeback were dashed after Finch was bowled, bamboozled by legspinner Tanveer Sangha (2-12) who struck with his fourth ball in his first match back after a bout of COVID.

Thunder's next scheduled game is against Hobart Hurricanes at the MCG on Monday, while the Renegades are listed to face Sydney Sixers at GMHBA Stadium on Tuesday.

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