Hales stars again as Sydney Thunder go clear at top of Big Bash table

Carrara (Agencies): Exiled England batsman Alex Hales again starred in Sydney Thunder’s Big Bash victory over Melbourne Renegades. With the Thunder chasing 173 from 17 overs, Hales crashed 45 off 19 balls, helping them to 117-2 after 12 when it rained, meaning a seven-run DLS win.

The Renegades’ innings had earlier been disrupted by the weather, Shaun Marsh making 87 in their 166-6 from 17 overs. The Thunder go top of the table with five wins from six matches, while the Renegades are bottom with one win.

The Thunder also took the Bash Boost point for the better score after eight overs, meaning they are three points clear of defending champions Sydney Sixers. Hales has not played for England since being dropped from the 2019 World Cup squad for reportedly failing a recreational drugs test.

He amassed 576 runs in last year’s Big Bash and this innings came on the back of 71 from only 29 balls in the win over Melbourne Stars on Tuesday. Hales cracked seven fours and two sixes in Carrara, only to be brilliantly caught by a diving Mackenzie Harvey at point to give a first wicket to debuting pace bowler Mitchell Perry. Usman Khawaja remained and was 48 not out in the company of England’s Sam Billings when the rain arrived to end the match.