Henriques heroics hand Sixers second spot

MOISES Henriques has helped secure the Sydney Sixers a spot in the BBL|13 Qualifier after a dramatic final ball victory over Perth Scorchers last night. With a finals double chance on the line, Henriques and the Sixers pulled off the largest ever successful run chase at Perth Stadium – 197.

Player of the Match Dan Hughes set the platform with 74 (43), first combining with James Vince (22 off 15) for a strong power play (0-47) and opening stand of 65 runs. He then compiled a partnership of 59 with gloveman Josh Philippe (32 off 23), putting his side ahead of the ledger for most of the chase.

The Sixers rode their luck throughout the innings but made it work before the game came to its captivating conclusion. Arguably in the box seat, Sydney almost threw the win away with a disastrous 19th over collapse of 3-4, with Henriques unable to get on strike as the set batter.

Scorchers seamer Jason Behrendorff came up clutch with the requirement sitting at 17 runs off 12 deliveries. He snared back-to-back wickets to open the over before assisting a run out as the Sixers began to capitulate. The only man standing in Perth’s way, though, was Henriques.

With 13 needed off the final over, Scorchers skipper Aaron Hardie stepped up to bowl. A crafty bit of keeping by Josh Inglis saw Ben Dwarshuis run out, making the collapse 4-5 with Henriques still unable to get on strike. When he did, the Sixers needed 11 off four balls.

A massive six changed the course of the crescendo, leaving the Sixers with three to get off two balls, and after tying the game with one delivery to spare, Henriques found the boundary to seal a monumental win for his side.

Hardie was somewhat hard done by, having taken 2-32 off his four overs and removed both openers – including the dangerous Hughes. Add a run out to the mix, and he produced a true captain’s performance. Behrendorff (3-35) also stepped up when called upon in the death overs.

It had all started so well for the Scorchers, who are used to dominating in home conditions. Power surge perfection (0-41) saw them turn the first innings after electing to bat, helping shift gears to post an ominous total of 197.

Departing English batter Laurie Evans starred, blasting 62 of his 72 runs in boundaries and combining with Hardie (32) for a blistering partnership of 85 off just 46 balls. Evans took a particular liking to Hayden Kerr, hitting him for 28 runs in the second power surge over.

There was nowhere for Kerr to hide at Optus Stadium, as he later dropped Cooper Connolly before the young gun smacked consecutive boundaries. Connolly would go on to make 37* off 18. Opener Stephen Ezkinazi was also dropped twice early in the innings before being forced to retire hurt (finger).

Most Sixers bowlers went the distance in the thick of the Perth Stadium cauldron, but Dwarshuis (2-23) put together an excellent spell to claim the wickets of both Evans and Hardie. Jackson Bird was also relatively economical for his 1-28.

Things will look slightly different for either side heading into finals. Englishmen Evans and Vince will depart, while Steve O’Keefe looks likely to return for the Sixers. Eskinazi’s finger injury may rule him out, potentially opening the door for recent signing Marcus Harris.

A meeting with Brisbane at Carrara Stadium is next for the men in magenta, with a finals double chance in tow. Meanwhile, Perth takes on the surging Adelaide Strikers at home, and will have to travel to either Gold Coast or Sydney to earn a spot in this season’s decider.


RESULT: Sixers won by 3 wickets.
POTM: Dan Hughes (Sydney Sixers)
BAT FLIP: Scorchers won & elected to bat.


Perth Scorchers:
Laurie Evans 72 (34), Cooper Connolly 37* (18), Aaron Hardie 32 (24)
Jason Behrendorff 3-35 (4), Aaron Hardie 2-32 (4)

Sydney Sixers:
Dan Hughes 74 (43), Moises Henriques 47* (20), Josh Philippe 32 (23)
Ben Dwarshuis 2-23 (4), Todd Murphy 1-17 (2), Jackson Bird 1-28 (4)


Perth Scorchers:
Power Play (1-4): 1-26
Halfway (10): 2-66
Power Surge (12-13): 0-41
Total (20): 4-197

Sydney Sixers:
Power Play (1-4): 0-47
Halfway (10): 1-89
Power Surge (12-13): 1-27
Total (20): 7-201

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