A solid bowling performance got the Melbourne Renegades home as they successfully defended 9/152, restricting Thunder to just 5/140.
Both Jason Sangha (54 not out) and Callum Ferguson (52) made half-centuries for the Thunder.
After Thunder won the bat flip and elected to bowl first, they started well claiming 2-12 within the first 13 deliveries. Two sixes from Renegades captain Aaron Finch in the 10th over, including one massive strike out of the ground, gave the innings momentum for the visitors.
Finch brought up his fifty with his fourth six of the match and finished with 54 from 38 balls.
The Thunder fought back late in the innings as they claimed 5-13 within the final three overs including the dangerous Cameron White (40 from 29). Seamers Daniel Sams (3-29) and Gurinder Sandhu (3-23) were both impressive in their four overs.
The Renegades landed a heavy blow in the fourth over when they removed the in-form Watson for just 1. The skipper had made 168 from his last two visits to the crease.
Callum Ferguson and Jason Sangha kept the scoreboard ticking over to keep the run chase alive. The pair added 64 for the third wicket.
Ferguson brought up his half-century with a cut behind point for four and reached the mark from 33 deliveries.
The dismissal of Ferguson for 52 from 36, to a wonderful catch by Dan Christian on the boundary, meant Sangha needed to take the lead.
He made an unbeaten half-century and, finished 54 not out from 49, but it was the Renegades who took the points largely thanks to English seamer Harry Gurney (2-27).