Sydney Thunder opener Alex Hales survived a first-ball scare to lift his side to 5-153 in their BBL clash with the Perth Scorchers at Optus Stadium on Monday night.
Hales was lucky to survive an lbw shout in the first over of the innings, and went on to score 85 off 59 balls, including 10 fours and three sixes.
The 31-year-old was the only batsman able to cause any real damage against a stingy Scorchers bowling line-up led brilliantly by Chris Jordan.
Jordan finished with 3-28 from four overs, while Jhye Richardson, Matt Kelly, and Fawad Ahmed were all economical.
The Thunder managed just 1-32 from their six-over powerplay, with Usman Khawaja dismissed by Mitch Marsh for 11.
The run rate continued to crawl along at around 6.5 runs per over for most of the innings, with Jordan's double breakthrough in the 12th over reducing the Thunder to 4-82.
Hale upped the ante in the dying overs, with the Englishman's big hitting allowing the Thunder to pile on 55 runs from the final five overs.
Alex Ross (22no off 24 balls) was the only other batsman to make it past 11.
The match looms as crucial to the finals hopes of both sides.
The Scorchers (10 points) have slipped to fifth following two straight losses, while the fourth-placed Thunder (11) are also in a scrap for a top-five berth.
Australian Associated Press