Sport Cricket Big Bash League Big Bash League: Big-hitting Sixers smash Thunder
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Big Bash League: Big-hitting Sixers smash Thunder

Moises Henriques
Captain Moises Henriques top-scored as the Sixers strolled past the Thunder. Photo: Getty
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Andre Russell’s black and pink bat and Jason Roy’s sensational catch stole the show as Sydney Sixers skipper Moises Henriques guided his BBL side to a season-opening nine-wicket win over Sydney Thunder.

The Sixers dimissed their crosstown rivals for a modest 8-159 on Tuesday night before chasing down their target with ease to finish 1-160 at Spotless Stadium.

Henriques top-scored with 76 not out off 41 balls, including seven fours and four sixes, while Thunder youngster Ryan Gibson will be pleased with his half-century (53 from 43 balls) on debut.

And while Sixers import Roy struck a middling 27 with the bat the Englishman had the sold-out 21,798-strong crowd in raptures in the field for his blinder of a catch to dismiss Thunder captain Ben Rohrer.

Rohrer timed a late cut from Joe Mennie nicely but the big-hitting import launched himself sideways at backward point, in a stunning horizontal manoeuvre that will be a contender for a catch of the season.

If that was spectacular, Russell’s choice of bat was outrageous.

The prized Jamaican star, who was caught and bowled for nine before removing Roy for 27, wielded a Spartan number in Sixers colours with a black blade and pink handle.

Sixers wicketkeeper Brad Haddin questioned whether the bat was legal.

“With that black bat, the ball, if you have a close look at it, it has four black marks on it,” Haddin told commentators over his mic.

“So if he had of batted for any time, it may have proven hard to see.”

But CA confirmed the bat was within the rules.

“A player can use a coloured bat subject to CA approval. The bat may be the same colour as the club’s primary colour or black,” a CA spokesman said.

“CA retains the right to withdraw approval at its absolute discretion and the umpires can also request a player to change the bat if they believe it affects the integrity of the match.”

It’s not the first time a BBL batsman has used coloured willow, with Russell’s Thunder teammate Aiden Blizzard swinging an electric green bat last season while former Melbourne Renegades power hitter Chris Gayle was approved to use a gold bat.

The Thunder got off to a flying start, racing to 1-71 after eight overs on Tuesday night in the absence of injured captain Shane Watson.

But a double-wicket maiden from paceman Joe Mennie, who’d conceded 16 runs in his first over, kick-started a quickfire fightback.

Some late fireworks from quick Pat Cummins gave the Thunder a boost, the No.8 adding 30 from 20 deliveries including three sixes.

-AAP

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