Sydney Sixers 155 for 7 (Silk 66*, Overton 3-23, M Short 2-13) beat Adelaide Strikers 154 for 6 (M Short 55, Henriques 2-11, Bird 19) by one run
Chasing a tough 156 on a sluggish surface, Strikers needed 18 runs off the final over but Overton inched them closer with 12 runs off the first three deliveries from seamer Ben Dwarshuis. After a couple of singles, Overton needed a boundary off the final ball but mistimed a low full toss to sweeper cover for only two, leaving the Strikers agonisingly short.
Sixers were sent in to bat in clear conditions with persistent rain in Sydney this week suggesting the surface would be difficult for batting. Openers Josh Philippe and James Vince were undaunted and aided by loose new-ball bowling from left-arm quick David Payne.
Vince also confidently attacked Matt Short’s offspin and smashed a commanding boundary over wide long off as the pair rattled off 39 runs in the powerplay.
But Overton then produced a superb over to dismiss Vince and Philippe and Sixers slid further when Dan Hughes, playing his 100th BBL game, was caught behind off seamer James Bazley.
It was left to Silk and Henriques to get Sixers back on track like they have many times over the years. By mostly nudging the ball around and finding the gaps, the pair calmly added 66 runs as they eyed a flurry in the backend.
But Henriques never found fluency and his frustrations boiled over when he holed out to Overton in the 15th over. It triggered a collapse for Sixers, who lost three wickets quickly with the burden falling on Silk to nudge them over 150.
Silk obliged and smoked a boundary to reach his half-century off 38 balls before finishing the innings in style with a last-ball six over deep midwicket to lift Sixers to the type of total they’ve defended numerously at their SCG fortress.
Bird was counterattacked immediately by No.3 Chris Lynn, who skipped down the crease to whack a belligerent boundary through point. Sixers had only managed to hit one six for their whole innings, but Lynn smashed Dwarshuis twice over the boundary, in the seventh over, to race to 33 off 13 balls.
Strikers looked in control until Henriques took matters into his own hands by castling Lynn with a full delivery and having Adam Hose ramp a short ball straight to deep third. Henriques had been reluctant to bowl in recent BBL seasons but led from the front tonight.
Sixers were on top with offspinner Todd Murphy bowled Jake Weatherald and Strikers slumping at 91 for 4 in the 12th over. The pressure fell on their skipper Short, who struggled for timing with his trademark muscular hitting mostly absent.
Strikers’ required run rate kept increasing, but they hoped to unlock boundaries when they took the power surge in the 17th over. Short raced past his half-century as he smashed consecutive boundaries in the 18th over before being deceived by a slower delivery from quick Jack Edwards.
Sixers received a fright from Overton in a tense finish before enjoying a much-needed tonic amid the drama over Curran.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth