Returning Henriques seals final-ball derby win for Sixers
Moises Henriques scored the winning runs off the last ball on his return as Sydney Sixers finally ended their Big Bash League drought with an eight-wicket derby win over Sydney Thunder.
The Sixers had lost six out of six BBL matches this season, but salvaged some pride in the Sydney Smash at the SCG on Saturday, striking a major blow to their city rivals' semi-finals hopes.
Chris Green top scored with a career-best 49 off 27 balls, but Henriques, back following two weeks off due to personal reasons, took 2-25 as the Thunder posted 156-6.
The Sixers looked to be coasting to an elusive victory, needing 30 from the last four overs, after debutant Joe Denly (43) and Daniel Hughes got them off to a good start but made hard work of getting over the line.
Requiring nine from the last over, superb death bowling from Green took it to the final delivery, but Henriques (18 not out) struck the two needed to win and Hughes was unbeaten on 66 off 55, giving the Sixers fans something to shout about at long last.
GREEN SPARKS LATE ONSLAUGHT
The Thunder were some way short of posting a competitive total before Green added impetus late in the innings.
England batsman James Vince, playing his first match since the Ashes, struck Nathan Lyon and Carlos Brathwaite over the ropes before holing out to the Australia spinner for a 25-ball 34 after Usman Khawaja fell cheaply.
It was left to Green to produced much-needed fireworks, striking three sixes as the Thunder scored 50 off the last four overs.
DENLY DELIVERS ON DEBUT
Denly rose to the occasion on his BBL bow, the English opener striking three maximums and hitting another four boundaries in a stylish knock.
He effortlessly flicked Mitchell McClenaghan for six before taking Gurinder Sandhu apart, pulling the paceman for two sixes in a third over which cost 18.
Fawad Ahmed ended Denly's innings with a half-century in sight, but not before he and Hughes had put on 69 for the first wicket.
HENRIQUES BACK WITH A BANG, HUGHES ANCHORS CHASE
Henriques claimed the wickets of Callum Ferguson and Arjun Nair on his comeback, the all-rounder's three overs costing only 25.
He strode to the crease with 30 needed off 23 balls and was there at the end to work Green's final delivery wide of long-on, scampering through for a couple of runs to win it.
Hughes struck a six and another four boundaries in a composed knock, bringing up his half-century by dispatching Shane Watson for his only maximum when the Thunder skipper strayed onto his pads.