Hussey magic can't save Thunder from defeat
The Sydney Thunder have slumped to their 15th successive Big Bash League defeat, a six run loss to the Adelaide Strikers, despite a sublime 85 from captain Mike Hussey.
In a quickfire knock off 56 balls that reminded Australian cricket of everything it is missing since his international retirement last summer, Hussey combined with Eion Morgan (35 off 23 balls) for a 109 third wicket stand before falling to Shaun Tait with one ball remaining.
Hussey and Morgan came together with the Thunder 3-20 in the fourth over and seemingly staring down the barrel of another demoralising loss.
They got the runrate ticking over before Hussey signalled his brutal intentions when he hit 15 of 17 runs off the 11th over bowled by Shaun Tait including hooking a 146km/h thunderbolt for six over backward square leg.
But Hussey couldn't bring it home for the Thunder and their losing streak now spans three seasons, three prime ministers and 735 days.
Earlier at ANZ Stadium on Friday before 11,068 fans Nathan Reardon hit 32 off 21 balls late in the Strikers' innings, after opener Michael Klinger scored 44 off 34 balls as the Strikers reached 6-153.
Left-arm quick Dirk Nannes was the pick of the Thunder bowlers with 2-22 off his four overs against the Strikers, the last team beaten by the Thunder back on December 23, 2011.
However the Thunder's losing streak falls well short of the record AFL run set by University (51 games) between 1911 and 1914 and rugby league's first grade record of 42 games set by University between 1934 and 1936.
After the Thunder had whittled down the required run rate to around one per ball from the last three overs, Hussey said the loss was one of the more disappointing of his celebrated career.
"I'm pretty disappointed at the moment, no doubt about that," he said.
"Particularly when we got into a position where we could have won it.
"It's just one of those things we have to learn ... winning is a habit and we haven't got it but we have to keep believing in ourselves."
Hussey paid tribute to former Australia quick Shaun Tait, who finished with 1-36 off his four overs for the Strikers, as as the matchwinner.
"After we probably got on top of him early, he came back really well," Hussey said.
"He still bowls good pace and, at the death, he was difficult to get away.
"He was probably the difference in the game."
Michael Neser was also impressive for the Strikers with 3-24 off four overs.