Eoin Morgan (left) of the Sydney Thunder celebrates with teammate Pat Cummins after winning their Big Bash League match against the Melbourne Stars with the last ball at Spotless Stadium.
Eoin Morgan (left) of the Sydney Thunder celebrates with teammate Pat Cummins after winning their Big Bash League match against the Melbourne Stars with the last ball at Spotless Stadium. DAVID MOIR

Last-ball Thunder six sinks Stars

THOSE bloody Brits.

Eoin Morgan caused chaotic scenes at Spotless Stadium on Wednesday night with a last-ball six to hand the Sydney Thunder their first victory of the Big Bash League.

Needing five runs to beat the Melbourne Stars, Irish-born England international Morgan held his nerve to launch Ben Hilfenhaus straight down the ground and over the fence.

He jumped up and down as he was mobbed by handy partner Pat Cummins.

Morgan will depart Sydney to join the England squad for their one-day series in India - but his hero's knock of 71 off 50 balls will not be forgotten any time soon out west.

"That final ball, I wanted to slow things down, get clear in my head about what I wanted to do, and aim it straight the whole time,” Morgan said.

"I thought Ben Hilfenhaus had bowled really well until that ball, he was executing his yorkers, it was just a matter of hoping he missed it, and fortunately enough he did.

"Hitting the winning runs for any team in the world is an awesome feeling, particularly a six. When you strike the ball like that, you're the only person in the world at the time who knows how well you've struck it.”

The Thunder did an outstanding job to restrict the Stars to 8-166. Kevin Pietersen was at his hard-hitting best with 60 off 37 balls. The Thunder took 5-20 in the final five overs, including an almost hat-trick chance to spinner Chris Green.

Pietersen said afterwards: "We tried really hard to lose that game, and we did.”

The Thunder lost Shane Watson and Aiden Blizzard cheaply, and still needed 88 runs off the final eight overs, 47 runs from their final four overs, then 16 off Hilfenhaus's final over.

It was left-hander Morgan's second half-century of the BBL, and will give him plenty of confidence ahead of his international return. He came into the tournament on the back of a three-month break because he had abandoned an England tour of Bangladesh because of safety concerns.

Meanwhile, fellow import Andre Russell could have played his last game for the Thunder after he broke down with a hamstring injury and was taken from Spotless Stadium on the back of a medicab.

Scans on Thursday could confirm Russell has played his last game for the Thunder - and potentially his last game for the next two years.

The big West Indian is also expected to learn in the coming days if he is banned by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission for an "anti-doping whereabouts” violation.

Russell could be hit with up to a two-year ban if found guilty.

The Thunder will need to win their remaining three matches to be any chance of defending their BBL title. The fightback continues in Hobart on Sunday.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH



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