Sydney Thunder all-rounder Daniel Sams has credited coach Ricky Ponting for his match-winning knock against Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash, speaking to Fox Sports.
Sams’ fiery 65 not out batting at number seven helped the Thunder beat Brisbane Heat by four wickets with seven balls to spare.
A win for Thunder looked unlikely at the turnaround but the heroics of 28-year-old Sams shot the Thunder to their first win of the tournament.
Brisbane won the toss and opted to bat. Chris Lynn’s hard-earned 69 from 44 deliveries and Jack Wildermuth’s scorching 31 from 11 helped the Heat reach 178 for six on a pitch where 170 looked above par.
The only positive Thunder could take was the fact only seven runs were scored in the final over of the innings.
Thunder’s chase began badly too, with Wildermuth picking up three wickets in his first two overs. And, just as Alex Ross and Baxter Holt’s partnership was blossoming, Thunder lost both batsmen, leaving a mountain to climb.
Enter Aussie all-rounders Ben Cutting and Daniel Sams. The scorecard read 99 runs required off 62 balls with only five wickets in hand.
Sams was under immense pressure following his golden duck against Melbourne Renegades in the Thunders’ previous game.
To be honest, Sams’ batting display had been poor until this game. He had only managed to score 243 runs at an average of 8.1 (Cricinfo). Nevertheless, the 28-year-old made the most of this opportunity.
Cutting and Sams built a partnership of 69 from 40 balls. When Cutting perished, Sams went on to score a withering 65 from 25 balls to blow Thunder over the winning line.
The knock included three fours and seven sixes as Sams was declared man of the match.
In the post-match presentation, Sams told Fox Sports: “I didn’t want to get another duck – I wanted to take it deep. I have been working with Ponting to clear the boundary.”
If the knock showed one thing, it was that Ponting’s training is working wonders for Sams. He gave a great display of clean hitting with everything coming off the meat of the bat. Ponting can certainly bring the best out of Thunders’ players.
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