Sydney Thunder produced a dominating performance to beat Hobart Hurricanes by 57 runs in the eliminator played at Blundstone Arena, Hobart on Thursday.
Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson won the bat flip and decided to bat first. Khawaja who looked out of form for Thunder in this season rose to the occasion and put pressure on Hobart Hurricanes bowlers right from word go along with Alex Hales. At the end of six overs, Sydney Thunder were 54 for 0.
After the power play overs, Hales and Khawaja continued to show his class with some brilliant batting. Khawaja reached his fifty off just 30 balls while Hales made the batting look easy on a superb batting pitch. James Faulkner provided the breakthrough for Hobart getting the wicket of Khawaja for well made 54. Khawaja and Hales added 103 runs in just 9.5 overs.
Callum Ferguson came to the crease and continued the momentum for Sydney. Alex Hales reached his fifty off 30 balls. As things looked dangerous for Hurricanes, Scott Boland struck to dismiss the dangerous Hales for 60. Hales and Ferguson added 42 runs for the 2nd wicket. Alex Ross came to the crease and hit a quickfire 21 off 13 balls. Hobart Hurricanes bowlers made a superb comeback with good bowling. Sydney Thunder posted 197 for 5 in 20 overs.
In reply to 198 runs to win, Matthew Wade and Darcy Short raced away to a quick start scoring 24 runs in just 2.5 overs. Cook dismissed the dangerous Wade for 14. Short looked in sensational touch and put the pressure on Thunder bowling. At the end of six overs, Hurricanes were 55 for 1.
After the power play overs, Cook struck again to dismiss the dangerous Short to stem the run flow. It was great bowling by Sydney Thunder bowlers who kept picking up wickets and bowled out Hurricanes for 140 in 18.3 overs.
Sydney Thunder 197 for 5 in 20 overs (Alex Hales 60, Usman Khawaja 54, Ellis 1/18) beat Hobart Hurricanes 140 in 18.3 overs (Darcy Short 37, Jonathan Cook 4/21, Chris Morris 3/27) by 57 runs.
Sydney Thunder will face Adelaide Strikers in the knockout to be played on 1st February.