Sydney Sixers vs Sydeny Thunder, 49th Match (N), Sydney, Jan 15 2022, Big Bash League
Match Result: Sixers won by 60 runs
Player of the Match: Steve O’Keefe
Match Report: Veteran spinner Steve O’Keefe has enjoyed a marvelous BBL comeback while star batter Josh Philippe returned to good touch as Sydney Sixers scored a thumping 60-run win over Sydney Thunder. The result at the SCG on Saturday moved Sixers into second place on the table on net run rate above Thunder, who have played one more game and suffered two consecutive losses.
Sixers totaled 5 for 197 with Philippe (57 off 35 balls), Daniel Hughes (66 off 48) and captain Moises Henriques kept (47 not out off 27) lifting the momentum massively after their team scored a competition low of just eight from their opening four-over powerplay. Thunder scored 28 more in the powerplay than Sixers, but 37-year-old O’Keefe, who was back after missing two matches with a hand injury, captained a massive collapse. He took two wickets in both his first and third overs as the Thunder lost 7 for 38 before a ninth-wicket stand of 56 saved the team from humiliation.
Captain Chris Green scored his first BBL half-century, with the visitors finishing on 9 for 137. Alex Hales got the Thunder off to a quick start, taking three fours off Sean Abbott in the second over. But O’Keefe bowled Hales with his first delivery and had Alex Ross caught behind three balls later to shift the momentum back in balance.
Josh Philippe: “My skin is pretty thick when it comes to on-field matters and matters that value the team in a big way. Now, being a lot more experienced, I’ve gained the kind of people skills that I lacked. I’d like to think it’s something I am still going to work on and grow as a human. The pressure situations are tough. Especially when you don’t have a bat in hand.
You can’t control anything that’s happening out there. That’s something I kind of manage pretty well. You don’t want to show your emotions on camera. From that point of view, it’s something I have learnt a lot and I’ve had to learn it quite quickly. From a captaincy point of view, it’s helped me be calmer and not panicking too soon.”