Sixers bow out as Thunder keep hopes alive


Sydney Sixers' hopes of making it to the last four of the Big Bash League were ended by Sydney Thunder, who retain a chance of featuring in the semi-finals thanks to a 46-run success.

The Sixers came into Saturday's clash at the SCG needing to win by a comfortable margin to keep their hopes alive, before waiting on other results to go their way.

But they could not hold up their part of the bargain as the Thunder racked up 202-5, thanks largely to Shane Watson's 66 and a rapid 46 from Andre Russell.

Needing to chase down the runs in 16 overs to sufficiently improve their net run rate, the Sixers' chances seemed faint and that proved to be the case as they ended well short, tumbling to 156 all out inside 18 overs.

The win moves the Thunder up to third in the table, and they can only be denied a semi-final spot by victory for both Melbourne Stars against Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades - who would have to improve their net run rate sufficiently against Adelaide Strikers.

The Sixers won the toss and elected to field, but were soon on the back foot as Watson crashed seven fours and three sixes in his 41-ball innings.

He was well supported by Mike Hussey in a partnership of 60 for the second wicket, the Thunder captain contributing 41 from 29 deliveries.

After Watson departed and Henry Nicholls fell for just three, all-rounder Russell provided yet more evidence of his powerful striking ability, thumping three fours and four maximums from his 20 balls to help the Thunder to an imposing total.

Knowing they could ill-afford a slow start, the Sixers came out swinging but skipper Nic Maddinson (70 from 40 balls) was the only man to make a telling contribution as the men in pink finished bottom of the table.