Sydney Thunder 159/8
Sydney Sixers 160/1
The Sydney Sixers eased past their city rivals, Sydney Thunder, in front of 22,000 in the BBL06 opener at Spotless Stadium.
A superb unbeaten 76* from 41 balls by skipper Moises Henriques saw the Sixers home by 9 wickets with 12 balls to spare.
The victory makes it 8 wins out of 10 in Derby games for the Sixers, and it will have given them great confidence after a poor campaign last year where they finished bottom, to beat the BBL05 champions.
The Green side of Sydney had started brightly, with Ryan Gibson (53) and Eoin Morgan (26) looking good value for money early on.
The Thunder’s line-up offered very little, though, after England’s Irishman had been dismissed by Australia’s South African, Johan Botha.
Botha and fellow spinner Jordan O’Keefe (1-16) were exceptional. Joe Mennie’s double wicket maiden, helped by an absolute blinder of a catch from Jason Roy, turned the game in the Sixers favour through the middle overs.
The middle order faltered, and Andre Russell’s contribution didn’t live up to the hype and expectation that comes with a man using an all-black bat.
Pat Cummins (30) helped his side set a respectable target with some lusty late blows, albeit a total that most sides would be confident of chasing in the BBL.
Jason Roy and Daniel Hughes set off like a train in pursuit of the 160 target.
Roy’s innings of 27, including four 4’s and a monstrous ’98 metre’ 6 off Cummins, was cut short though, when he mistimed a stroke off Andre Russell.
The Thunder should have had two in two, but Clint McKay made a mess of the opportunity presented to him by the new man, Henriques.
The Green’s were left to rue that missed chance. Had they taken the wicket of the Sixers’ skipper, they might have been able to exploit the somewhat fragile and fairly shallow batting line-up.
We know Cummins can bowl fast, and freakishly so, but with the game seemingly in the balance, Henriques dismantled him. 6 4 4 2 4 in five consecutive deliveries, taking him for 21 in the 14th over, and the game was well and truly gone.
Hughes (54*) and Henriques continued to make light work of the target, the men in pink winning at a canter.
Tomorrow sees the Adelaide Strikers take on the Brisbane Heat in the second game of BBL06.