Thunder v Sixers, BBL 2014-15, Sydney December 27, 2014

Sixers go top with third straight win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sydney Sixers 7 for 180 (Wessels 50, Sandhu 2-28) beat Sydney Thunder 5 for 164 (Blizzard 80*, Abbott 2-28) by 16 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Riki Wessels struck five fours and two sixes during his 50 © Getty Images

A half-century from Riki Wessels, followed by early wickets from Sydney Sixers' seamers saw the team overpower Sydney Thunder at Stadium Australia. Aiden Blizzard did his best to make a fight of Thunder's 181 chase - his unbeaten 42-ball 80 featured six fours and four sixes - but most of those big hits came when the game was already out of their grasp, and in the end, Sixers held on to register a 16-run victory.

Both of Sixers' earlier wins this season had been built around solid contributions from their top order, and that did not change on Saturday. After being inserted, Sixers raced off the blocks early as Nic Maddinson hooked Gurinder Sandhu for six off the third ball of the innings. Dirk Nannes got rid of Maddinson for 12, but he came in for special treatment from Michael Lumb, who blasted the fast bowler for three fours and a six in the space of six deliveries, as Sixers reached 50 inside six overs.

Nannes eventually had the last laugh, having Lumb hole out at square leg with a slow bouncer, but Wessels and Sixers' captain Moises Henriques kept the score ticking with a 51-run partnership. Wessels began slowly - his first 16 balls fetched just 15 runs - but he broke the shackles in the 11th over, hammering Nannes for six over midwicket. He collected a further 12 runs off an over from Jacques Kallis, and off his next ball, lofted Nathan Hauritz for six. Wessels once again came down the track the next delivery, but this time could only manage a top edge which landed in Sandhu's hands at long-off.

The boundaries dried up after Wessel's dismissal - only one four was scored from the last three overs - but Sixers nonetheless scrambled their way to 7 for 180, meaning that Thunder had to score at more than nine an over right from the off. Kallis and Michael Hussey had turned back the years in Thunder's previous game, against Brisbane Heat, but both batsmen got out playing expansive strokes, and at 4 for 79, Blizzard was left with too much to do. Sean Abbott was the pick of Sixers' bowlers, taking 2 for 28, while Brett Lee and Mitchell Starc chipped in with a scalp each.