Match-winning performance by Josh Philippe 64 runs and Stephen O’Keefe’s 3 wickets Sydney Sixers beat Sydney Thunder by 5 wickets (DLS method)

Thunder Hales has got the Thunder off a superb start, with the team in green racing off to 47/1 in the first four overs including a nightmare 21-run over off Jake Ball.

But at the other end, Khawaja was dismissed by Bird managed just two runs before falling on his seventh delivery, mistiming.At the end of the power play – first four overs – the Thunder were 1/47.

Lloyd Pope found success as soon as he was brought into the attack. The 21-year-old leg-spinner got the big wicket of Callum Ferguson3 (4) with his second delivery

Hales fired back to life with a half-century off 29 balls, his ninth BBL fifty in 42 matches.

O’Keefe was brought on for his second over in the innings and he dismissed both set batsmen Billings (15 off 15) then Hales (54 off 33) in the space of three balls – a crucial double blow for the Thunder, leaving two brand-new bats at the crease. At the end of the 10th over, the Thunder were 4-86 with Sams (1) and Ross (0).

O’Keefe was at it again in his next over with a plumb LBW to dismiss Alex Ross (3 of 5), taking his tally to a team-best 13 wickets for the season to date.

That took the Thunder to 5/94 after 12 overs. Jackson Bird then dropped Sams on the boundary in the 13th over after a desperate diving attempt which left his elbows bloodied.

O’Keefe finished with figures of 3/15 off four overs – his most miserly figures ever in T20 cricket. Meanwhile, Pope finished his four overs 1/31.

After losing four wickets in the first half of the innings, the onus was on Daniel Sams to give the Thunder a big finish and so he did, scoring an unbeaten 50 from 37 deliveries on his return.

Nathan McAndrew gave Sams good support, managing 17 not out from just eight deliveries, and the duo put on a seventh-wicket partnership of 44 from 23 deliveries to propel the Thunder to 166/6 in their 20 overs.

The rain struck, delaying proceedings and forcing the Duckworth-Lewis system to offer up a rain-revised target: 129 from 14 overs, and 67 from 7 overs for the Bash Boost.

Sydney Sixers Josh Philippe single-handedly hit 23 runs off the second over, hitting 30* off 10 balls in a scorching beginning to the chase after two overs.

Avendano joined in on the action to make it 0/41 off three overs, the end of the shortened power play.

While the Sixers seemed to be cruising to victory, Ben Cutting has given the Thunder some hope here with the wicket of James Vince.

At the end of seven overs, the Sixers are 79/2 with Philippe and Daniel Hughes in the middle. They need 50 runs to win from 42 deliveries.

Due to the revised conditions, the Sixers had only one over of Power Surge up their sleeve and they decided to use it in the 11th over.

But it didn’t begin as per the plans of the batting team as Jordan Silk was dismissed by Daniel Sams off the first ball of the over. With Daniel Hughes becoming Tanveer Sangha’s 16th dismissal of the tournament earlier, the Sixers had to be a little careful about the regular fall of wickets.

Dan Christian then offered a catch off the first delivery he faced, but it was a very difficult chance and Alex Ross couldn’t take it. From thereon, the Sixers eased to victory with Philippe scoring a glorious 64 and Christian chipping in with a couple of big hits.

The 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Philippe had to head back to the pavilion when only one run was needed. While he was bitterly disappointed, he had done more than enough for the Sixers’cause in this match. Carlos Brathwaite then proceeded to hit the first-ball boundary to complete the formalities.

Steve O’Keefe | MoM: We initially thought it was flat but it was a bit two-paced, so I bowled a bit slower than I normally would. They’re very dangerous at the top, with 80-90 run fliers helping them in the back-end. But Carlos and I are taking wickets in the middle that dents them. We go out there and give our best every time, and the support staff has been helpful in getting us to the top of the table. Phillipe is an absolute superstar. The coach has kept everyone together. There’s no excuse to take the foot off the pedal now at the back end.

The score: Sydney Thunder 6-166 (Hales 57, Sams 50no; O’Keefe 3-15) lost to the Sydney Sixers 5-132 (Philippe 64; Sams 2-25) by five wickets with eight balls remaining under the DLS method

The points: Sydney Thunder: 0, Sydney Sixers: 4

Sydney Thunder XI: Alex Hales, Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson (C), Sam Billings (wk), Alex Ross, Ben Cutting, Daniel Sams, Nathan McAndrew, Adam Milne, Jonathan Cook, Tanveer Sangha

X-factor subs: Brendan Doggett, Oliver Davies

Sydney Sixers XI: Josh Philippe (wk), Justin Avendano, James Vince, Daniel Hughes (C), Jordan Silk, Dan Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Stephen O’Keefe, Jackson Bird, Jake Ball, Lloyd Pope.

X-factor subs: Ben Manenti, Hayden Kerr


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