The Sydney Sixers waited 12 seasons for their first men’s century; they now have two in two matches, both of which belong to Steve Smith. On Saturday night, the Australian superstar Steve Smith delivered a knock for the ages to a sold-out SCG crowd of 38,757, smashing his second consecutive century to lead the Sixers to an impressive 2-187 from 19 overs. Steve Smith hit nine sixes in his 66-ball stay, including one over mid-wicket off-spinner Usman Qadir to bring up his century, as the Sixers achieved their second-highest total of all time against crosstown rivals the Thunder.
Steve Smith put up a show in BBL12
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It was the second most ever in a KFC BBL innings from Steve Smith, behind just the 11th. Chris Lynn has two hits, while Chris Gayle and Craig Simmons both have one. The 33-year-old currently has 262 runs and 175 strike rates in three BBL|12 hits, and Sixers coach Greg Shipperd and captain Moises Henriques look to have discovered Steve Smith’s optimum position in the shortest format. With 18 sixes in just three hits, he is tied for the most times clearing the fence in the competition with Tim David and Matt Short, who has played 12 and 13 games in BBL|12, respectively.
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I’ve been playing cricket with him for 15-20 years, but that’s definitely one of the finest T20 runs I’ve ever seen,” Henriques remarked during the innings break on FoxCric. “That was wonderful to behold, some of those bullets had me speechless from the other end. “It’s not an easy pitch to bat on. This is a considerably worse wicket than the one we saw at Coffs Harbour, and this inning completely destroys the previous innings.
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Steve Smith turning it on for Sixers
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Steve Smith launched an immediate assault after the match was trimmed to 19 overs for each side due to a late afternoon Sydney storm that blew over the SCG and delayed the start by 15 minutes. From his first ball faced, he hit a four through backward point, and from Daniel Sam’s first delivery of the match, he hit a massive slog sweep six. Losing partners Josh Philippe (10) and Kurtis Patterson (2) in the fourth over in the space of five balls only slowed him down for a short time, as Sams (0-47 from four overs) received the treatment from Australia’s No.3 as his second over of the match went for 13.
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Steve Smith and Henriques then smashed an unbroken 155-run partnership for the third wicket in only 15 overs, the biggest partnership of the tournament thus far. Henriques was the ideal support player, finishing with 45 not out from 36 balls and two sixes of his own. In response, the Thunder were never in it, falling to 3-17, with last week’s star Matthew Gilkes, Blake Nikitaras, and Oliver Davies all out for single digits.
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The Thunder’s dreams were dashed when David Warner was bowled out for 16 (23) with the score 5-38 in the ninth over, and they were bowled out for 62 in the 15th over, leaving their finals chances hanging by a thread. They’ll stay in fourth place for the time being with 12 points, but the Heat (11 points) and Hurricanes (10 points) each have two games remaining.
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It was the Thunder’s second batting collapse in BBL|12, after their notorious 15 all out, and they now hold two of the competition’s five lowest totals all-time this season. The Sixers’ main destroyer was wily veteran tweaker Steve O’Keefe, who finished with 4-10 from three overs, while new Test squad member Todd Murphy bowled excellently with 12 dots in his 1-18. The Sixers’ top-of-the-table ambitions remain alive, however, they must win their last match against the Hurricanes in Hobart on Monday and hope the Scorchers lose to the Renegades tomorrow.
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