Ross reflects on heroic partnership

Alex Ross hit a cool 61no as Thunder beat Heat at Manuka Oval to launch their BBL campaign.
Alex Ross hit a cool 61no as Thunder beat Heat at Manuka Oval to launch their BBL campaign.

Staring down the barrel of a shocking start to the BBL season, Sydney Thunder duo Alex Ross and Sam Billings were the coolest people in Manuka Oval.

At 3-32, still needing 100-plus runs to beat the Brisbane Heat, with reigning player of the series Alex Hales out for a duck and in-form Matthew Gilkes also gone, the Thunder were up against it.

That was until the middle-order maestros stamped their authority and simply won the game themselves; Ross said the pair had always remained calm.

"We've both played quite a lot of cricket now and we do that role for pretty much all the teams that we play in, that four, five or six role," he said.

"So come together, build a partnership and do all those things that you know - it's right out of the textbook, nothing too crazy.

"The match-ups are the key there ... I like to try and take the spin down and for [Billings] to attack the quicks."

Feeling himself late in the piece, Ross let rip and helped himself to boundaries aplenty, including a delicate yet powerful push shot over point for six.

Thunder captain Chris Green said it was special to see the "glue" of his side's middle-order firing.

"The way Rossy kicked on there at the end was outstanding to watch," he said.

"It was a tough wicket to get started on so the way they just absorbed it, rotated the pressure, built the run chase really nicely ... I thought it was fantastic tempo from both of them.

With 61 unbeaten runs and a win under his belt, Ross said he was not at all focused on individual goals but rather finding team success.

"We're all pretty hungry," he said.

"Two years ago we limped into finals and then went relatively deep and we had that taste.

"The next year we felt like we were disappointed not to make it further ... this year we want to win."

Australian Associated Press