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.

Steve Smith helped the Sydney Sixers to a seven-wicket win over the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League on Saturday.

Aaron Finch (109 off 68 balls) had led the struggling Renegades to 175-5 from their 20 overs at the SCG.

But after Josh Philippe's 61, Smith ensured the Sixers moved back into second in the table.

The Australia star made an unbeaten 66 off 40 balls as the Sixers reached their target with eight balls to spare.

 

FINCH PUNISHES SIXERS

Finch gave the Sixers chances when he was on 39 and 40, dropped by Jordan Silk and Philippe.

Another chance went begging when Finch was on 62, dropped by Ben Dwarshuis – who would face further punishment.

Bowling the next over, Dwarshuis was taken for 22 runs by Finch, including a six and three fours.

Finch went on to notch his eighth T20 century to guide the Renegades to what looked like a competitive total.

VINCE UNLUCKY

James Vince and Philippe helped the Sixers make a fine start to their chase, reaching 49 without loss after five overs.

But Vince's unfortunate dismissal would slow the Sixers down.

Will Sutherland dropped a return catch off Philippe, but the ball ricocheted onto the stumps at the non-striker's end, running Vince out for 22 off 13.

SMITH STEPS UP

That allowed Smith to take over.

A reverse sweep for four from Smith off Mohammad Nabi (1-27) in the 15th over helped the Sixers need 45 off the final five overs.

Smith almost went in the next over, with Nathan McSweeney producing a brilliant piece of fielding on the boundary, catching the ball as it was flying for six, but throwing it back as he fell over the rope.

But that would be the Renegades' last chance as Smith took control to lead the Sixers to victory.

James Vince and Josh Philippe made half-centuries as Sydney Sixers thrashed Brisbane Heat by eight wickets in Steve Smith's Big Bash League return.

All eyes were on Sixers batsman Smith in his first BBL appearance for six years, while Heat batsman Marnus Labuschagne played his first match of the 2019-20 tournament after returning from Australia's ODI series in India.

Labuschagne made only three as the Heat were restricted to 126-8, with runs hard to come by on a slow Gabba surface on Thursday.

Steve O'Keefe was named man of the match after taking 1-20 from his four overs, while Jackson Bird, Tom Curran and Ben Dwarshuis took two wickets apiece.

The Sixers eased to their target with 25 balls to spare, Vince making a stylish 51 off 37 balls and fellow opener Philippe an unbeaten 52 from 43.

Smith fell for only nine, but the Sixers were all-but home by then as they moved above Adelaide Strikers into second spot in the battle to face Melbourne Stars in the first Qualifier at the MCG.

The Heat have now lost three in a row and are just outside the play-off spots with two games to play.

 

STRUGGLING HEAT BATSMEN FAIL TO FIRE

O'Keefe stuck a big blow by removing Chris Lynn's off stump in the third over and the Heat were 33-2 in the fifth when Matt Renshaw was removed by Bird, having struck Nathan Lyon for six and four in the previous over.

Lyon had Sam Heazlett caught and bowled before Labuschagne was taken by Smith attempting to pull Curran, with the Heat slumping to 57-5 halfway through their innings.

James Pattinson made a brisk 27 not out from 15 balls after AB de Villiers (25) was caught by Smith in the deep, but the Sixers bowlers did a great job of restricting the Heat to a below-par total.

 

VINCE PROMOTION PAYS OFF

England batsman Vince was promoted to open with Philippe, Daniel Hughes dropping down the order.

He made the most of his opportunity at the top of the order, full of confidence after making an unbeaten 41 in a victory over the Melbourne Stars last time out.

Vince showed his class with glorious strokes on both sides of the wicket, coming down the track to launch Mujeeb Ur Rahman into the stands and reaching his half-century off 34 balls with a classy drive over cover before pulling Ben Laughlin to Heazlett.

 

PHILIPPE RETURNS TO FORM, SMITH MISSES OUT

Wicketkeeper batsman Philippe had mustered only 32 in his previous five knocks, but returned to form in batting conditions that were not straightforward.

Vince comfortably outscored Philippe in a stand of 75, but the 22-year-old clattered Laughlin for 10 off two balls as the Sixers closed in on an emphatic victory.

Pattinson followed Smith and had his Australia team-mate caught behind when he moved outside leg stump attempting an expansive drive, but Philippe brought up his half-century before Moises Henriques put the Heat out of their misery.

Melbourne Stars saw their eight-match winning run halted by Sydney Sixers in a rain-affected 21-run Big Bash League reverse on Monday.

The Stars are top of the standings after a stunning streak but were dealt just their second defeat of the tournament in a 14-over-a-side contest.

A heavy downpour provided an early disruption, but the Sixers kicked on from there, with Moises Henriques supplying a rapid 72 off just 31.

Sydney's total of 143-4 - adjusted to a target of 147 by the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method - proved beyond Melbourne's reach, Marcus Stoinis' attempted rally - 62 off 37 - proving to be in vain.


RAIN PROMPTS IMPROVEMENT

The Sixers made an unimpressive start with just 16 off the first 19 balls, but rain quickly came teeming down to bring about a reduction in overs.

The batting side were not initially any better following the restart, losing Daniel Hughes (14) and Josh Philippe (10) to Sandeep Lamichhane in the space of three balls in the fifth over.

However, a James Vince (41 not out) partnership with Henriques propelled Sydney in some style, the two combining for a partnership of 114 that included eight maximums from the skipper.


SYDNEY STALL SLIGHTLY

The Sixers' total might still have been more impressive had Henriques and Tom Curran not each departed in the final over.

The prolific Stoinis and Hilton Cartwright started to knock the ball around in the Stars' third over, scoring 22 with a four and a six apiece.

Cartwright went with the next ball, and the scoring slowed with Nathan Lyon initially economical, but Stoinis remained in the middle.


LYON GETS HIS MAN

Requiring 54 from the final three overs, it appeared Stoinis was determined to maintain Melbourne's outstanding run single-handedly.

He hit 16 off the next three balls from Lyon, only to then hole out to Henriques, giving the Stars a mountain to climb.

Curran took the wickets of Nick Larkin and Glenn Maxwell (12) with consecutive balls in the final over, and Sydney were ultimately comfortable.

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.

Thursday's Big Bash League clash between the Sydney Sixers and the Hobart Hurricanes was abandoned as much-needed heavy rain fell in eastern Australia.

The Sixers were 45-2 after being put in to bat by the Hurricanes, with Josh Philippe going for seven when he was stumped off a Clive Rose delivery.

James Vince scored just one run before he was caught behind, and a promising Daniel Hughes and Moises Henriques partnership was curtailed when the covers came on at approximately 1940 local time.

With no let-up in the conditions, the match was called off and the points split between the teams, although the rain will come as welcome relief to eastern states ravaged by recent bushfires.

The Sixers are second in the standings, while the Hurricanes are down in ninth.

Marcus Stoinis smashed a stunning record-breaking century as the Melbourne Stars earned a comprehensive 44-run win over the Sydney Sixers in Sunday's table-topping clash.

Perhaps irked by his duck in the Melbourne derby against the Renegades two days ago, Stoinis carried his bat in a wonderful unbeaten 147 – the highest score ever in the Big Bash League.

Stoinis' effort blew the previous best – a 122 not out from D'Arcy Short – out of the water and the Stars were close to going through their entire 20 overs without a losing a wicket.

However, Hilton Cartwright (59) holed out to deep midwicket from the first ball of the final over as the Stars reached 219-1, marking the third highest score in the competition's history.

Still, the duo's stand of 207 also represented a record and, though the Sixers made a decent 175-7 in reply, in truth Stoinis' heroics meant the visitors were on a hiding to nothing at the MCG.

STOINIS PRODUCES 'I WAS THERE' PERFORMANCE

Stoinis' performance was so good that had you not seen it you might not have believed what was going on.

In total, there were eight sixes and 13 fours from 79 balls of utter excellence, Stoinis finishing in typically brilliant fashion with a hook over backward square leg off Sam Curran.

That came after a remarkable penultimate over in which Stoinis scored 24 runs off the luckless Ben Dwarshuis.

Cartwright provided a fine foil with three sixes and six fours off 40 deliveries, but the evening belonged to one man, with the MCG crowd offering a huge ovation to Stoinis.


SIXERS FAIL TO BUILD A PLATFORM

If there was any hope for the Sixers it may have come from the 2017 classic between the Hobart Hurricanes and the Melbourne Renegades, which coincidentally also took place on January 12.

On that occasion, the Hurricanes successfully chased 223, with that match providing the two highest totals in BBL history.

The Sixers needed everything to go their way, though, and, well, it just did not happen.

Moises Henriques (41) and Dwarshuis (42) made good scores but there were not enough substantial partnerships to trouble the Stars, for whom Clint Hinchcliffe finished with 3-20. 

Marcus Stoinis set a new Big Bash League record with a magnificent 147 not out for the Melbourne Stars against the Sydney Sixers on Sunday.

His innings spanned just 79 balls and surpassed the previous highest score in a BBL match, the unbeaten 122 that D'Arcy Short made for the Hobart Hurricanes against the Brisbane Heat in 2018.

The performance from Stoinis was staggering, with the Australia limited-overs international cracking 13 fours and eight sixes, including a maximum from the final ball of the innings at the MCG.

The Stars looked like going the distance without losing a wicket, but Hilton Cartwright holed out to Jordan Silk at deep midwicket from the first ball of the 20th over.

Cartwright had made 59 from 40 deliveries. The home side finished five balls later with 219-1, four runs short of the record team total in the competition which was set in 2017 by the Hurricanes against the Melbourne Renegades.

Stoinis left the field to a standing ovation, having made exactly 100 in boundaries alone, with the Sixers facing a tall order to chase down their target.

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.

Josh Philippe thumped an unbeaten 83 from 52 balls as Sydney Sixers continued their excellent Big Bash League campaign with a thrilling seven-wicket victory over Adelaide Strikers at Coffs Harbour.

The Sixers, beaten semi-finalists last season, made it five wins from seven outings, after limiting the Strikers to 176-6 and chasing down the target with three balls to spare.

Adelaide failed to fully capitalise on a promising start, having been 53-1 after five overs, with Josh Hazlewood's miserly spell proving pivotal.

Philippe then starred with the bat, while Justin Avendano (47) also caught the eye, and Tom Curran finished the job in style in a match that saw a comical dismissal for Matthew Short.

HAZLEWOOD HALTS STRIKERS

Adelaide looked well placed to make a big score after a fast start but Hazlewood had other ideas.

Despite taking only one wicket – that of Strikers captain Alex Carey (29) – his four-over spell was key as he conceded just 18 runs.

That stood in stark contrast to the economy rates of three of his fellow bowlers, with Ben Dwarshuis, Lloyd Pope and Curran all in double figures.

 

SHORT'S SHORT INNINGS ENDS IN COMEDY OF ERRORS

The 14th over of the Strikers' innings saw two wickets fall, with one playing out in the manner of a slapstick comedy.

After Cameron White had holed out on 18 while in search of a six, Short followed him back to the pavilion without facing a ball.

Standing at the non-striker's end as Jonathan Wells flicked a stroke towards square leg, Short saw an opportunity for two runs, then changed his mind... then changed it again when there was a misfield. 

By the time he changed his mind for a third time he was halfway down the pitch and he was then short of his ground when he was run out, even though wicketkeeper Philippe appeared to lose his grip on the ball as he whipped off the bails. 

What Wells, who finished 40 not out in a losing effort, must have made of all this as he stood safely in his crease is anyone's guess.

PHILIPPE CUTS LOOSE

Philippe was aggressive from the outset in a 52-ball knock that yielded five fours and four sixes.

Avendano joined him for a 72-run opening partnership that put the Sixers firmly on course, but the best strike rate belonged to Curran.

Coming in late and with a job still to be done, Curran faced just three balls but scored 10 runs, sealing the win with a six.

James Vince made a big impact on his return as the in-form Sydney Sixers denied Melbourne Renegades a first Big Bash League victory with a six-wicket win on Thursday.

A new year did not bring about a change of fortune for defending champions the Renegades, who paid the price for a lack of runs at Marvel Stadium.

Lloyd Pope (2-22) and Jackson Bird (2-24) excelled with the ball to restrict the Renegades to 153-6 after they were 69-1 in the eight over, Sam Harper top scoring with 45 off only 24 balls and Shaun Marsh making 40.

The Sixers followed up their dramatic Sydney Smash Super Over triumph by extending their winning run to three matches, Tom Curran hitting the winning run off the penultimate ball of the match.

Vince struck 41 from just 26 deliveries on his return from an elbow injury, while Dan Hughes (40) and Jordan Silk (36 not out) also made significant contributions as the Sixers moved up to second place despite the absence of Sean Abbott (side strain).

 

POPE PREYS ON RENEGADES FLAWS

The Renegades were going along nicely on 65-1 after seven overs when Pope came into the attack and the spinner put the squeeze on to frustrate the champions.

Pope removed Harris with a googly in his second over, which cost only four runs, and the flame-haired tweaker trapped Beau Webster (17) lbw in his final over to put the Renegades on the back foot.

Dan Christian (32no from 17) set about the expensive Curran, who went for 58 from his four overs, but Melbourne were well short of a daunting total.

 

PHILIPPE AND HUGHES GET SIXERS OFF TO FLYER

Josh Philippe made a statement by clattering the first ball of the run chase from Webster for six and had a stroke of luck when he was dropped by Christian.

The impressive Tom Andrews somehow cleaned up Philippe (33) with a first ball that should have been hammered into the crowd, but not before the wicketkeeper-batsman and Hughes had put on 70 for the first wicket.

Cameron Boyce and Andrews (2-22) gave the Renegades hope by dismissing Hughes and Moises Henriques respectively to leave the Sixers 80-3 in the 12th.

 

VINCE AND SILK DELIVER WITH DECISIVE STAND

The Sixers needed 54 from the last six overs after Boyce conceded only six runs off the 14th, but Vince and Silk chipped away at the target with a fourth-wicket stand of 57.

Vince launched a leg break from Boyce for six, but was bowled nine short of a half-century attempting to put the next ball in the same spot.

Silk passed 1,000 Big Bash runs and dispatched the otherwise-economical Kane Richardson over extra cover for six in the penultimate over, then struck the second delivery of the final over from Richard Gleeson over the rope, leaving Curran to hit the winning run with a ball to spare.

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.

Tom Curran made a dazzling contribution with the bat as Sydney Sixers recorded another emphatic victory over Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League.

Having raced to an eight-wicket triumph when the two sides met in Sydney on December 18, the Sixers again proved far too strong for the Scorchers at Perth Stadium, winning by 48 runs.

After Daniel Hughes and Moises Henriques had both made 35, England all-rounder Curran thumped an unbeaten 43 from 21 deliveries - clubbing 24 in the final over alone - to power the visitors to 174-7 despite Chris Jordan returning 3-29.

Jackson Bird and Sean Abbott then claimed three wickets each as the Scorchers were bundled out for 126 in 18.1 overs, having initially slumped to 34-5.

Perth now have just one win from four games and face an uphill battle to finish in the top four, while the Sixers climb from sixth to third, albeit having played more matches than the sides around them.

 

CURRAN TAKES KELLY APART

After 19 overs, the Scorchers could be fairly satisfied with their efforts in the field, even though Hughes had taken advantage of being dropped on nought by a diving Ashton Agar.

However, a competitive score for the Sixers swiftly became an imposing one as Curran clubbed two fours and two sixes, as well as a pair of twos, in a painful final over for Scorchers bowler Matthew Kelly.

Curran finished the innings in style by clearing the long-on boundary and the Sixers entered the interval with significant momentum, while Kelly was left with abysmal figures of 1-50 from four overs.

 

EARLY BREAKTHROUGHS SCUPPER SCORCHERS

The Scorchers' hopes of chasing down 175 were effectively wiped out in 6.1 overs.

Bird struck in each of his first three sets of six, as Liam Livingstone (2), Cameron Bancroft (1) and Cameron Green (1) all flopped.

Josh Inglis also failed, falling to Curran for seven, and home skipper Mitchell Marsh was bowled by Abbott's first ball for 17, leaving his side with far too much to do.

Ashton Turner (28) and Kelly (23 not out) delayed the inevitable but Perth were soundly beaten.

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