Owais Shah of the Hurricanes in action during the T20 Big Bash League match against the Sydney Thunder.THE Hobart Hurricanes have stayed undefeated and top of the Big Bash League with a comprehensive five-wicket victory over the Sydney Thunder at Bellerive.

Set a modest 139 to win, the Hurricanes made it four from four with their first chase of the series last night.

Englishman Owais Shah struck 41 off 32 as his side reached the target with eight balls to spare in front of 12,238 fans.

Unfancied when the new competition began, the Hurricanes are now the runaway leaders on eight points, four clear of the Thunder, Perth and the Sydney Sixers.

First and second drops Travis Birt and Shah were in scintillating form for the Tasmanians, Birt making a quick-fire 35 from 18 balls before Matt Johnston hit the winning runs with a six.

The Thunder is fast starting to resemble a one-man batting show in the absence of captain Dave Warner on Test duty, with West Indies star Chris Gayle smashing yet another half-century.

Gayle clobbered 53 off 33 balls, including five sixes, as the Thunder made a below-par 8-138 after winning the toss.

He also chimed in with a brilliant one-handed catch to remove Tom Triffitt.

The competition’s leading run-scorer had pleaded for his teammates to support him after Friday night’s loss to the Melbourne Renegades, but only a run-a-ball innings of 39 from No. 3 Sean Abbott stood out for the visitors.

Gayle took his series tally to 232 and, with Warner having made a first-up century, the pair have scored 334 of the side’s 582 runs. He started slowly by his standards yesterday but still regularly cleared the boundary.

Gayle hoisted Jason Krejza (2-29) on to the Southern Stand roof and hit Xavier Doherty (1-45) for consecutive sixes to bring up his half-century before holing out at deep cover off the bowling of Krejza.

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