Brilliant displays from Stephen O’Keefe and Josh Phillipe helped the Sydney Sixers to a comfortable five-wicket victory over the Sydney Thunder in a rain-affected match at Manuka Oval on last night, 13 January.
O’Keefe picked up three wickets, including the key wickets of Alex Hales and Sam Billings, while Phillipe belted 64 runs as the Sixers chased down the reduced total to extend their lead atop the BBL ladder.
The Thunder were sent into bat first and looked like posting a massive total as Hales caught fire, but a double strike from O’Keefe in the 10th over left the Thunder at 4/86 at the halfway mark.
Daniel Sams managed to rescue the Thunder innings with some late hitting to bring their total to a slightly under par 6/166.
After a hot day in the nation’s capital, the heavens opened during the innings break and after a short delay, the Sixers had a revised target of 129 from 14 overs.
Phillipe came out aggressive with the bat and took a whopping 23 runs off the second over to put the Sixers firmly in the box seat.
While they regularly lost wickets at the other end, it didn’t seem to phase Phillipe as he scored 64 off just 36 balls before being bowled with just one run needed for victory.
Carlos Brathwaite hit a four off his first delivery to as the Sixers reached the target with 8 balls to spare to give them bragging rights in the opening Sydney Derby.
The Sixers quest for back-to-back titles is gaining momentum as they are now six points clear of the second-placed Thunder on the ladder with just four matches remaining.
The Sixers next take on the Perth Scorchers at Manuka Oval on Saturday 16 January, while the Thunder next play the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday 18 January at Manuka Oval.