CRICKET BBL SIXERS STRIKERS
Josh Philippe has smashed the Sydney Sixers to a seven-wicket BBL win over Adelaide in Coffs Harbour, with Test paceman Josh Hazlewood making a successful return from injury.
Opener Philippe scored an unbeaten 83 off 52 balls as the Sixers passed the Strikers' score of 6-176, with three balls left, on Sunday night.
Hazlewood, having missed the past two Tests against New Zealand with a hamstring injury, took 1-18 from his four overs.
He uprooted the leg stump of Australian short-form representative Alex Carey (29 off 31), who reached 1000 BBL runs during his innings.
Hazlewood conceded 10 off his first over, but found the right line and length in his last three.
"It (T20) is a fast-paced game isn't it, it took a little bit to get used to," Hazlewood said.
'I was a little bit rusty in the first couple of overs."
The Sixers consolidated second spot and the Strikers dropped one place to fourth on the ladder.
Philippe, who struck five fours and four sixes, peppered the short legside boundary.
He was dropped at cover by Cameron White on 26 and on 50 at deep backward point by Neser.
Needing 25 runs off the last two overs, the Sixers took 21 off the 19th bowled by Michael Neser, with Philippe smashing 14 from the first three deliveries.
With four runs needed in the final over, Tom Curran blasted a straight six off the third delivery from Peter Siddle to seal Sunday night's game in front of a sellout crowd of 9834 at the Coffs International Stadium on the NSW north coast.
"It was a beautiful wicket as well so we knew that we were a chance to chase that down if we had a few wickets in the shed and I was just lucky to be there at the end," Philippe told Fox Sports and Channel 7,
Philippe and Justin Avendano (47 off 33) had the Sixers' chase off to a terrific start with a stand of 72 off 8.3 overs.
Avendano, who was deputising for regular Sixers captain Moises Henriques, hit his highest BBL score in his fourth game, striking sixes over midwicket off pacemen Siddle and Billy Stanlake.
Philippe added 51 for the second wicket with acting captain Daniel Hughes (24 off 19) who scored 300 not out on the ground in 2015 in a second XI game.
The Strikers made a blistering start to their innings, scoring 14 off the opening over and 53 off the first five, as the Sixers' quicks were guilty of dropping too short.
Openers Jake Weatherald (15 off 9) and and English import Philip Salt (25 off 13) led the early assault.
The Sixers' bowlers, spearheaded by Hazlewood, fought back well to slow the Strikers down in the middle overs.
Jono Wells (40 off 28), Neser (25 off 15) and Rashid Khan (14 off 6) lifted the tempo, scoring 81 off the last seven overs.
"I thought we bowled well in a few patches there's still a bit to work on," Hazlewood said.