Josh Philippe's half-century lifted the Sydney Sixers to their second Big Bash League title with a 19-run win in a rain-affected final against Melbourne Stars, who finished as runners-up for the second successive season.

Heavy rainfall had threatened to wash out the game at the SCG on Saturday, but the conditions eased and there was enough time for a 12-over match in which the Sixers came out on top.

The hosts – champions in the inaugural 2011-12 campaign – were in trouble at 68-4 but Philippe smashed 52 off 29 balls to guide them to 116-5, Adam Zampa finally removing the opener with the final delivery of the innings.

Despite possessing explosive batsmen Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell in their ranks, the Stars did not get firing until Nick Larkin and Nathan Coulter-Nile put on an unbroken 43-run stand for the seventh wicket.

However, spinners Nathan Lyon (2-19) and Steve O'Keefe (2-27) took two wickets apiece, while Josh Hazlewood and Ben Dwarshuis kept the run rate down as the Stars suffered a third final defeat.

 

A STRONG START

James Vince made just two off nine deliveries before picking out mid-on off Daniel Worrall, but Steve Smith (21) ensured the Sixers stayed on track after Maxwell put the Stars in.

Smith and Philippe took the fight to the Stars and the latter claimed four fours and three maximums to score his third fifty in four BBL games.

Although captain Moises Henriques fell for seven and Maxwell removed Daniel Hughes for a golden duck, Philippe established a 48-run stand with Jordan Silk (27 not out) to set what looked to be a par score.

 

HISTORY REPEATING?

When the teams met in the qualifier, the Sixers bowled the Stars out for the lowest score in their history – just 99.

There must have been a sense of deja vu when they slumped to 25-4 after 4.1 overs, with key batsmen Stoinis and Maxwell departing early.

Stoinis was the highest-scoring player in the BBL this year and plundered a record 147 when the teams first met this season, but he made just 10 before holing out to deep midwicket off Lyon and O'Keefe snared Maxwell lbw to leave the Stars in dire straits.

 

STARS BURNT OUT

Smith run out Peter Handscomb – off O'Keefe to leave the Stars 54-6.

Despite the impressive efforts of Larkin, who hit two fours and as many sixes in an unbeaten 38, and Coulter-Nile, the visitors were unable to come back from the early setbacks and fell to a resounding defeat.

Sydney Sixers skittled Melbourne Stars for just 99 to punch their ticket to the Big Bash League final with a comprehensive 43-run win in Friday's Qualifier.

The Stars finished top of the table but suffered three straight defeats at the end of the regular season, while the Sixers – who will now get to host the final – won as many on the spin heading into the match.

It was a contest that followed the form book, with Steve O'Keefe (2-22), Sean Abbott (3-23) and Josh Hazlewood (2-14) impressing, while Nathan Lyon and Ben Dwarshuis each took a wicket.

Only three Stars batsmen made double figures at the MCG in a poor chase in reply to the Sixers' 142-7, which looked well under par with Josh Philippe's 34 the highest knock of a low-scoring affair.

The Stars, whose score represents their lowest in the BBL, have another chance to make the final and will meet the winners of Saturday's match between Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder.

 

STARS INITIALLY STEM SIXERS

What will disappoint the hosts the most is how they failed to build on an excellent showing in the field.

Philippe found the boundary four times before being caught-and-bowled by Haris Rauf an over after opening partner James Vince (12) fell to the impressive Adam Zampa (3-21).

Moises Henriques and Steve Smith put on 40 for the third wicket before the latter was given caught behind off Zampa despite believing he had not hit the ball.

From there the Sixers failed to build any partnerships of note. It meant a huge effort would be needed with the ball…

 

MELBOURNE LEFT SEEING STARS

Things started badly for Melbourne with Marcus Stoinis (5), Nick Larkin (4) and Peter Handscomb (4) falling inside five overs.

It did not get any better for the home side as Nic Maddinson (16) top-edged to short third man and the gleeful hands of O'Keefe, who quickly came to the fore.

O'Keefe first forced Seb Gotch to drag on before snaring the huge wicket of Glenn Maxwell (16), who was too straight with his attempt to clear long-off. 

The wickets then fell with regularity and Daniel Worrall and Rauf fell off consecutive deliveries from Abbott to wrap up the win with 12 balls to spare.

Matthew Wade smashed a glorious century as the Hobart Hurricanes beat the Adelaide Strikers by 10 runs to clinch a place in the Big Bash League's Eliminator.

Buoyed by solid efforts of 66 and 56 in his previous two outings, Wade found an entirely new level on Sunday, toying with the Strikers bowlers as he hit an unbeaten 130 off 61 balls, a career-best T20 score.

Wade's previous best in the shorter format was 88, but he went well beyond that in a team total of 217-1, setting Adelaide a daunting victory target.

The Strikers came up short, finishing eight wickets down.

The result means the Hurricanes will play the Eliminator against either Sydney Thunder or Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League finals, while Adelaide must face the winner of that contest after missing out on the chance to finish second.

 

UNTOUCHABLE WADE DAZZLES

Wade produced an innings for the ages at the Adelaide Oval.

In total, he hit 11 fours and seven sixes from 61 balls of pure mastery, as the 32-year-old left the Strikers looking clueless, particularly when knocking three successive boundaries off Wes Agar in the 17th over.

It was Wade's maiden T20 century, and the second-highest innings in Big Bash history, only trailing Marcus Stoinis' stunning unbeaten 147 from earlier this month.

As impressive as Wade was, he did not do it all alone – on another day D'Arcy Short might have been the man of the moment with his applaudable 72, as the pair's 203 partnership was only four adrift of the Big Bash record.

Their stand almost lasted the entire innings, but Short eventually fell in the penultimate over taken at long-on after not quite getting enough on Michael Neser's delivery, allowing Phil Salt to catch.

STRIKERS JUST FALL SHORT

Although the Hurricanes set a hefty total to chase, the Strikers seemed to be on track until the seventh over, with Salt and Travis Head posting a solid 79-run partnership following the early fall of Jake Weatherald in the second over – Macalister Wright taking the catch from Clive Rose's delivery.

The Strikers certainly piled the pressure on towards the end, with Alex Carey (39) and Jonathan Wells (15) hitting five boundaries between them in seven balls across the 15th and 16th overs.

But the commendable death skills of James Faulkner (1-35) and Nathan Ellis (2-36) upset the Strikers' flow, toppling Rashid Khan (eight), Carey (39), Matthew Short (six) and Neser (nine) in the final three overs.

Brisbane Heat kept their hopes of a place in the Big Bash League playoffs very much alive with a dominant win over leaders Melbourne Stars.

The Heat started the day on 10 points with two games to play but vaulted into the top five with a 71-run victory clinched with 14 balls to spare at the MCG.

AB de Villiers laid the platform for the Heat with a searing 71 off just 37 balls, helping Brisbane to 186-5.

The table-topping Stars promptly collapsed in response, spinners Mitchell Swepson and Mujeeb Ur Rahman doing the damage for Brisbane as Melbourne were bowled out for 115.

 

DEVASTATING DE VILLIERS

Veteran De Villiers had not scored a half-century in the BBL going into Saturday's contest, but he changed that fact in emphatic fashion.

The South African cleared the rope six times, with two of his sixes coming in an expensive Clint Hinchcliffe over.

De Villiers' primary support came from Australia international Marnus Labuschagne, who finished unbeaten on a 13-ball 24, the pair combining for a fifth-wicket stand of 70.

 

STARS PUT IN A SPIN

Marcus Stoinis (17) got the Stars' chase off to a strong start but it proved the first of two false dawns for the Stars, who lost Stoinis and Seb Gotch to James Pattinson in the fourth over.

Peter Handscomb (27) and Nick Larkin (22) appeared to have mounted a recovery with a stand of 36, only for the former to be run out chasing two as Mujeeb and De Villiers combined in the field.

Danger man Glenn Maxwell (1) followed three balls later as he was bowled by Swepson, who struck again to remove Nic Maddinson (9) and then Larkin after Nathan Coulter-Nile had fallen to Mujeeb for a duck.

That left the Stars on 92-7 and the tail never looked like mounting a remarkable recovery.

 

A TIGHT FINISH

In the fight for the final two playoff places, the Heat join the Scorchers on 12 points and would qualify as it stands, with Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder each a point back with a game to play.

Perth face the Thunder in their finale, while the Hurricanes visit Adelaide Strikers and the Heat face bottom side Melbourne Renegades.

The fight for the top five is going down to the wire.

Adelaide Strikers are sure of a place in the top three of the Big Bash League table after Wes Agar led them to a comfortable 16-run victory over Perth Scorchers on Friday.

Phil Salt's second half-century in his last four games helped the Strikers to 181-5 from their 20 overs, with Jake Weatherald and Travis Head making 35 apiece at Optus Stadium.

That target proved to be well beyond the hosts despite a magnificent knock from Liam Livingstone (79), Agar taking 3-36.

Adelaide are second in the table and will not have to contest the eliminator round of the play-offs. The Scorchers are fourth and can secure a place in the playoffs with a win over Sydney Thunder on Sunday.

 

SALT SHAKES UP SCORCHERS ATTACK

Opener Salt hit seven boundaries and a pair of maximums in his 31-ball 59, putting on 71 for the opening wicket with Weatherald.

Alex Carey and Head kept the scoreboard ticking with a stand of 43 off 28 balls and Jono Wells' contribution ensured the Strikers had plenty to defend.

A dozen of Wells' 23 runs off 16 balls came via him finding the rope, and those boundaries proved valuable as the Scorchers came up short in response.

LIVINGSTONE GIVES SCORCHERS HOPE

The Scorchers' top runs scorer in the BBL this season, Livingstone frequently threatened the rafters as he kept the hosts' hopes alive.

The English opener struck seven sixes in his explosive 54-ball knock and showed the ability to do so in unorthodox fashion, with ramp and hook shots sent sailing for six.

However, when man of the match Wes Agar ended his remarkable innings the prospect of a Scorchers victory went with him as they went from 115-5 to finishing on 165-7.

WES WINS BATTLE OF AGARS

Wes Agar also removed opener Josh Inglis and Scorchers captain Mitchell Marsh as he finished with figures of 3-36, ensuring he got the better of his brother Ashton Agar in the process.

Older sibling Ashton Agar took 2-29, dismissing openers Weatherald and Salt, and was unbeaten on 10 with the bat.

He still ended up on the losing side despite his admirable efforts, but was all smiles as he congratulated his younger brother after the match.

Sydney Thunder's bowlers tore through Sydney Sixers before they won a rain-affected Big Bash League derby match by four runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method on Saturday.

Two interruptions due to adverse weather inside the opening three overs resulted in the match being reduced to 16 overs each, but the Sixers were already in trouble at 6-3.

Daniel Sams claimed figures of 3-14, which included the scalps of Justin Avendano (28) and Ben Dwarshuis (19) – the only Sixers batsmen to reach double figures.

Chris Morris (2-12 from 3.5 overs) removed Jackson Bird and took the bails off to run out Steve O'Keefe for a diamond duck in the final over as Moises Henriques' team were skittled for the second-lowest BBL score of 76.

Usman Khawaja was on 13 when he fell to Tom Curran in the fourth over of the chase, but Callum Ferguson (8 not out) and Sams (5no) ensured the Thunder stayed above the par score by getting to 28-2 when the rain hit again.

The Sixers consequently missed a chance to open up a four-point advantage on the teams chasing second place, with the Thunder now two points back in fourth.

Mitchell Marsh produced his best Twenty20 batting display as Perth Scorchers completed a commanding 34-run triumph over Brisbane Heat at Optus Stadium.

Australia international Marsh blasted an unbeaten 93 off just 41 balls to lead the Scorchers to an impressive 213-3 – their highest total in Big Bash League history.

The Perth skipper plundered 44 of his runs off 13 deliveries from Ben Laughlin, who finished with the joint-most expensive figures in a BBL match of 1-60.

Tom Banton gave the Scorchers hope with an entertaining 55, but Brisbane came up short on 179-8 and the Scorchers moved level with them on eight points.

 

MARSH ON THE MARCH

Josh Inglis started strongly with 28 off 14 balls and Marsh ensured the Scorchers' tempo did not drop.

The all-rounder racked up three fours and eight maximums – three of which came in succession off the final over from Laughlin.

That took his unbroken partnership with Cameron Bancroft (41 off 29) to 124 and the hosts to a tally that would always prove difficult for the Heat to chase down.

 

BANTON'S BRILLIANT FAREWELL

Brisbane were in with a chance while Banton was at the crease, though, as the opener another stunning display in his final appearance before being replaced by AB de Villiers.

The 21-year-old, who will join the England squad in South Africa for the three-game ODI series in February, produced a series of stunning shots, the pick of the bunch being a ramp from off stump off Jhye Richardson that landed well beyond the ropes.

Banton brought up his third fifty of the competition off 25 balls with a drive through mid-off, but he was caught and bowled by Fawad Ahmed, who did well to cling on as he trod on the non-striker's stumps.

 

BRISBANE FALL SHORT

Banton's dismissal at the end of the 10th over did not immediately change the complexion of the match for the Heat, who remained into the hunt thanks to the 41-run partnership between Ben Cutting (20) and Joe Burns (37).

However, the run rate slowed and the Scorchers grasped control with the ball, Richardson, Joel Paris and Chris Jordan finishing with two wickets apiece.

Birthday boy Josh Hazlewood's three-ball cameo put the seal on a fifth Big Bash League win on the bounce for Sydney Sixers as they beat Adelaide Strikers by two wickets.

The Australia star sent all three of the balls he faced to the boundary to get his side over the line with eight balls remaining.

It came after the Strikers had posted a sub-par 135 all out on home soil, Jake Weatherald (47) and Alex Carey (32) the only men to do any real damage with the bat.

Although no Sixers players could match either of those efforts, Hazlewood was one of seven to reach double figures in a more robust team innings.

HAZLEWOOD CELEBRATES IN STYLE

The Sixers were ahead of the rate but running out of wickets when Hazlewood came to the crease with eight down.

Unflustered by the precarious situation, Hazlewood set about ruining former Australia team-mate Peter Siddle's bowling figures in the penultimate over.

Having got on strike in the second ball of Siddle's set, Hazlewood quickly got into the groove and cut his mate to the rope for the first of three fours on the bounce.

It was a fitting way to celebrate his 29th birthday, with his bowling figures of 1-19 off four overs proving pretty useful, too.

 

JAKE CAN'T WEATHER THE STORM

Weatherald's knock made him the game's top scorer, but it came in a losing effort.

He played fluently in a 31-ball innings that featured seven fours and a maximum before Tom Curran's superb yorker brought the Weatherald show to a close, the bowler posting figures of 4-22.

His departure put the brakes on Adelaide's progress as nobody down the order could match Weatherald's strike rate.

 

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

It may not have been the plan, but the Sixers ended up sharing the runs around in pursuit of what was a pretty modest target.

James Vince's 27 was the biggest contribution, with Curran rounding out a superb day by adding 21 with the bat.

It was Curran's dismissal, Harry Conway's yorker giving him a taste of his own medicine, that led to Hazlewood's introduction and he put the icing on the cake.

Sydney Thunder were jolted on Wednesday when spinner Chris Green was suspended from bowling for at least 90 days in Cricket Australia competitions due to an illegal delivery action.

Green was withdrawn from the Thunder team hours before the Big Bash League clash with the Melbourne Stars at the MCG.

Cricket Australia said Green was reported by umpires Nathan Johnstone and Mike Graham-Smith and third umpire Paul Wilson after a BBL match against the Stars at Sydney Showground Stadium on Thursday, January 2.

His off-spin action was tested on Sunday at the National Cricket Centre near Brisbane, and Cricket Australia said results came through on Wednesday and were relayed to Green and the Thunder.

In a media statement, Cricket Australia said: "Green will be unable to bowl for a minimum of 90 days in Cricket Australia-run competitions, effective immediately. He will be permitted to play as a batter should the Thunder or Cricket NSW desire and can also play premier cricket (including bowl) under the supervision and with the consent of Cricket NSW during his suspension.

"After the 90-day suspension has elapsed, Green will be eligible to undergo testing once again with a view to returning to bowling."

As well as his Thunder commitments, Green has signed up for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and is due to head to England to captain the Birmingham Bears in the domestic T20 Blast later this year.

Thunder coach Shane Bond backed Green, saying: "He's an important part of our future and the club will support him through this process."

Big Bash League champions Melbourne Renegades were unable to defend 175 and clinch their first win of the season as Perth Scorchers claimed a six-wicket success.

Despite Jhye Richardson (3-22) removing Aaron Finch for a golden duck, Sam Harper (73) and Beau Webster (59 not out) had put Melbourne (175-5) in a strong position to finally deliver a maiden victory at the seventh time of asking.

Yet Perth openers Josh Inglis (51) and Liam Livingstone (59) shared a century stand to leave the Scorchers firmly in charge at the halfway point of their chase.

Cameron Bancroft then hit the winning runs as Perth (178-4) got home with an over to spare.

FINCH FLOUNDERS BEFORE MARSH WINS BATTLE OF THE BROTHERS

There was no captain's innings from Finch, who skied a bouncer from Richardson to Cameron Green from his very first ball to leave Melbourne 1-1.

Richardson took the wicket of Australia Test batsman Marcus Harris (14) in the powerplay and the Renegades were struggling at 48-3 as Mitchell Marsh got one over on his brother, Shaun.

The older Marsh was on just two when he swiped his brother to the leg-side fence, where Livingstone was on hand to ensure Mitchell got the family bragging rights.

RENEGADES REBUILD THROUGH HARPER AND WEBSTER

The failings of the Renegades' top order did not lead to a collapse, though, as half-centurions Harper and Webster gave them a good total.

Harper might have been out before he reached 50, but the ball slipped through the normally reliable Chris Jordan's hands on the ropes for a six that brought up the milestone.

He was eventually dismissed when Ashton Agar hung on to another chance in the deep but Webster's unbeaten half-century, which included four sixes and three boundaries, raised the prospects of a first Renegades victory.

 

LIVI DAZZLES DESPITE BOX-CLATTERING DELIVERIES

Perth's opening partnership effectively put paid to Melbourne's hopes, though, as Inglis and Livingstone compiled 102 in the first half of the Scorchers' innings.

Livingstone was able to lead the way despite twice copping painful-looking deliveries between his legs – the 26-year-old letting out audible groans on both occasions – and one of his four maximums travelled a whopping 97 metres.

Inglis upped the ante when his fellow opener chipped Richard Gleeson (3-30) straight to Finch, reaching his half century in 31 deliveries, two balls fewer than Livingstone, before falling caught-and-bowled to Kane Richardson.

Two sixes from Tim David (16) brought the total closer and Bancroft (20 not out) sealed the Scorchers' third win of the season.

D'Arcy Short scored his second Big Bash League century as Hobart Hurricanes beat Perth Scorchers by eight runs at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

Hurricanes opener Short made the most of a number of reprieves to register an unbeaten 70-ball 103 that included three fours and seven maximums, taking his tally for the season to 248.

Despite the Australia international's efforts, the Scorchers still looked capable of chasing down the 181 they needed for victory against Hobart (180-2).

A 75-run partnership between Mitchell Marsh (48) and Cameron Green (33) gave them hope, but Perth (172-8) lost momentum when the former holed out to midwicket off Thomas Rogers and they were consigned to a fourth loss of the season.

 

D'ARCY DOESN'T FALL SHORT

There were plenty of moments when it looked like Short, the leading run scorer in the previous two editions of the BBL, would not get to triple figures.

The opener was dropped on 21 and 68 when Tim David twice showed a lack of judgement in the field, while Jhye Richardson (twice) and Liam Livingstone put down more difficult chances to get him out.

Short needed three runs off the final delivery to bring up his century and he did it by ramping a Chris Jordan yorker onto the ropes for six.

 

BOLAND MAKES HIS MARK

The Hurricanes took 76 runs from the final five overs of their innings, but their total was by no means unreachable for the Scorchers.

However, Perth were in trouble when they slipped to 18-3 after 2.3 overs. Scott Boland (2-29) drew an edge that had Cameron Bancroft caught behind for a duck and on the next ball his fingertip deflection sent Marsh's drive down the ground onto the non-striker's stumps to run out Josh Inglis.

 

MARSH GIVES PERTH HOPE

Marsh and Green steadied the ship for the Scorchers after the early inroads made by the Hurricanes, who saw Riley Meredith (side strain) and David Miller (calf) leave the field for treatment and not return.

McDermott missed a great chance to break their partnership when he failed to hold on after Marsh gloved Rogers down the leg side, but Nathan Ellis trapped Green lbw in the next over.

Marsh went on to rack up five fours and a six before a tremendous catch from Caleb Jewell ended his knock and the Scorchers finished on 172-8.

Rashid Khan's thrilling cameo was not enough to stop the Adelaide Strikers suffering their first loss of the Big Bash season against the Sydney Thunder at Adelaide Oval.

An 18-ball 40 from Rashid, which included four fours and three sixes, looked set to inspire the Strikers to a fourth straight victory on Tuesday.

However, with Adelaide needing five off the final two balls to triumph, the Afghanistan international was run out attempting an ambitious second run.

Responsibility to clinch the win subsequently fell to Wes Agar but he was unable to connect sufficiently with Chris Morris' delivery and was run out by the South African, securing a three-run triumph for the Thunder.

 

FERGUSON SETS THE TONE

The Thunder set a target of 169 for the Strikers and owed much of that to the work of Usman Khawaja (63) and Callum Ferguson (73).

The duo combined for a 73-run stand after Alex Hales (4) fell, with Ferguson racking up seven fours and two sixes in an expansive knock that saw him move top of this season's scoring charts on 229.

Those maximums came off successive Rashid deliveries, one of which was ruled a no ball, before he holed out to deep midwicket.

Peter Siddle (2-30) claimed two wickets in a final over that went for just three runs, but Ferguson's efforts ended up proving the difference.

 

WEATHERALD MILESTONE

While his opening partner Phil Salt went for a six-ball duck and the Strikers were reduced to 36-3 after 5.4 overs, Jake Weatherald ensured their chase did not entirely collapse.

He became the second Striker to reach 1,000 BBL runs, joining Travis Head, and plundered a trio of sixes off one Jonathan Cook over en route to his second fifty of the season.

However, Daniel Sams (2-32) got Weatherald on 52 with a slower delivery, and when Arjun Nair (2-19) accounted for Cameron Valente and Cameron White in the same over the hosts were in trouble at 118-7.

 

RASHID RUFFLES FEATHERS

The Strikers required 53 runs off 28 balls when Rashid walked out to the middle and he certainly looked in the mood when he launched a six that left him on his backside over deep midwicket.

His display of varied and exciting striking continued when, on the back of a four and a third six of the match, he guided a magnificent checked sweep in front of square and to the ropes.

Rashid's back-to-back fours off Morris put Adelaide in position to snatch victory in the final over, but the Thunder just about managed to hold them off and seal an enthralling win.

Tom Curran starred with bat and ball as the Sydney Sixers edged out the Sydney Thunder in a thrilling Super Over in the Big Bash on Saturday.

Curran's brilliant 35 off 17 balls enabled the Sixers to reach 149-7 from their 20 overs - matching the Thunder's 149-8 - and send the match into overtime.

The England international initially failed to build on that momentum, falling to Chris Morris from the opening delivery of the Super Over, but took responsibility with some disciplined bowling as the Thunder fell narrowly short of the 17 runs required to win.

Curran restricted Alex Hales and Usman Khawaja to just five from the first four deliveries, leaving the Thunder needing 12 from the final two balls.

Sixers nerves were jangling when Hales launched the first over the ropes but he could only manage a four from the second as his side fell to their first defeat of the season.

That there was such late drama was down almost solely to Curran.

The Sixers looked down and out when he strode to the crease at 110 for five but he dispatched his first three deliveries to the fence, the start of a muscular knock that pushed his team to a position from which they needed 16 from the final over.

And when Curran promptly hammered the next ball from Chris Tremain over the mid-wicket boundary for six to make the equation 10 from five balls, it seemed the great escape was on.

Another Curran boundary meant the Sixers required two from the final ball but they could only manage one as Chris Morris' throw from the deep was accurate and wicketkeeper Matthew Gilkes whipped off the bails to force a tie.

Sixers captain Moises Henriques made 14 of his side's 16 runs in the Super Over after Curran's first-ball dismissal but the England international regained centre stage to deny the Thunder.

Earlier, captains Henriques and the Thunder's Callum Ferguson played starring roles in their respective teams' efforts.

Ferguson made 52 from 42 balls to underpin an innings that was heading for an under-par score at 115-7 while Henriques' 41 off 30 balls gave Curran the platform to tee off.


Impressive Pope offers glimpse to the future

Lloyd Pope may not look like your archetypal cricketer but he has prodigious talent. The flame-haired spinner put the brakes on the Thunder's innings with 3-23 and they never really recovered.

Although Nathan Lyon's spot in Australia's Test and ODI teams is secure, Pope will surely have a role to play when the New South Welshman steps away from international cricket.

An alumnus of Adelaide club Kensington - where a certain Don Bradman once played - he has the pedigree to become a major player long term but also in this year's Big Bash.


Ferguson leads from the front

Ferguson can count himself extremely unfortunate to finish on the losing side after an innings that looked as though it would give his side the win, before Curran's intervention.

Khawaja (16) and Hales (32) had got the Thunder off to a solid start but both failed to go on to make significant contributions.

And when Pope ran through the middle order, Ferguson had to combine attack and caution to steer his team to 149 before being run out from the final ball of the innings.

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