Sixers cruise into Big Bash semis by thumping Thunder

Sydney Sixers booked their place in the Big Bash League semi-finals with ease on Saturday, trouncing Sydney Thunder by nine wickets at the SCG.

After a couple of early maximums from Shane Watson, the Thunder struggled to build any momentum with the bat as they were limited to a paltry total of 128-6.

Rain delayed the reply and forced a further interruption after four overs, yet the Sixers were able to cruise to a revised target of 84 from 12 overs.

Josh Philippe was embarrassingly run out off the first ball of the innings, but Daniel Hughes (41 not out off 27 balls) and James Vince (43 not out off 35) both scored freely to guide their side to victory with nine deliveries to spare.

Three of the four semi-final places have now been secured, with the Sixers, Melbourne Renegades and Hobart Hurricanes all certain to finish in the top four.

The Thunder's qualifying hopes appear all but over. They would need to win their final group match and have a string of other results go their way.

 

EARLY SCARE QUICKLY FORGOTTEN

After limiting the Thunder to a below-par score, the Sixers made a dismal start with the bat as Philippe charged more than halfway down the pitch in search of a first-ball single, only to be sent back by an unmoved Hughes and caught well short of his ground.

That left the Sixers 0-1, but Hughes and Vince were assured thereafter, the latter providing the highlight of the innings with an enormous pulled six off Gurinder Sandhu.

 

NO REPEAT OF DWARSHUIS HEROICS

As much as the Sixers won comfortably, Ben Dwarshuis returned very different figures to the remarkable analysis of 3-7 from four overs that he recorded against Adelaide Strikers last time out.

On this occasion, Dwarshuis' second and third deliveries were thumped for six by Watson and the seamer finished with 1-32.

Watson could only muster 28, though, and Chris Green (34 not out from 22) was the only Thunder batsman to top that score in an underwhelming innings.

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