Sams bombed seven sixes and looked happy to try and clear the fence with every ball he faced. Few batsman in the country would swing as hard as the late-blooming all-rounder. A top-shelf left-arm fast bowler, Sams has struggled to regularly show what he can do with the bat.
He admitted afterwards he was simply looking to avoid another duck like the one he picked up on the weekend against the Melbourne Stars.
“I wanted to give myself a chance to not get another duck,” Sams said.
“If you lose a few wickets in the power play you get a bit rattled, but we pride ourselves on being calm and we’ve got a deep batting line-up, and once we were able ro reset we went along like we normally would.”
The Thunder slumped to 3-22 as Jack Wildermuth, fresh off his unbeaten century for Australia A against India, went on the rampage with the ball.
Wildermuth bowled with good pace and his delivery to clean bowl Hales was worthy of the summer highlights reel.
Sams only arrived at the crease once Alex Ross departed for 34 off 24 and with a dodgy groin that could have him in doubt for next Monday’s clash against Perth.
Sams was unlucky not to finish with three wickets when denied a certain scalp with the final ball of the Thunder innings.
Jimmy Peirson nicked one behind and even started walking, only for the umpires to turn down the appeal. Ricky Ponting was convinced Sams had his man and said during the Seven commentary ”the ball deviates back in, that’s 100 per cent out”.
Sams would not have complained as the Thunder got their Big Bash campaign up and running.
Heat pin-up Chris Lynn crunched five sixes en route to his 69 from 44 balls, a solid yet conservative knock by his standards.
When Lynn cleared the fence at the end of the power play, the Heat were humming at 1-59, but the Thunder pumped the brakes and refused to concede a boundary the next four overs.
Sams (2-32) and Jono Cook (2-31) picked up a pair while Cutting gave up nine runs in his one over against his former club. Heat coach Darren Lehmann, who had a heart scare at the start of the year, quipped his health was much better now Cutting had departed Brisbane.
Cutting looked ready to hang around with Sams until the end before he was given a decent send-off by Mark Steketee.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.