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Henriques, Hughes power Sydney Sixers to nine-wicket win in BBL opener

Doug Bollinger picked two wickets for Sydney Sixers
Doug Bollinger picked two wickets for Sydney Sixers

Sydney Sixers 160-1 (Henriques 76no) beat
Sydney Thunders 159-8 (Gibson 53) by nine wickets
First game, Big Bash League, Spotless Stadium

Skipper Moises Henriques and Daniel Hughes scored an unbeaten 115-run stand to help Sydney Sixers chase down 160 against Sydney Thunders in the opening game of the Big Bash League 2016-17 season at Spotless Stadium.

After a brief rain delay, Sydney Sixers won the toss and elected to bowl first. Steve O'Keefe (1-16) provided the initial breakthrough for the Sixers when he had Kurtis Patterson (8) caught at short fine leg.

However, Ryan Gibson (53) and Eoin Morgan (26) steadied the innings with a 55-run stand which came in 33 deliveries. The pair plundered six boundaries and a six in overs five and six combined and ended the powerplay at 64 for one.

Just when the Sixers were running away with the game, Johan Botha (1-29) had Morgan caught behind but Gibson went on to complete a fine half-century.

The Sixers made a brilliant comeback into the game with wickets of Ben Rohrer (2), Jake Doran (0), Andre Russell (9) and Chris Green (0) in quick succession but Gibson along with support from Pat Cummins (30) ensured Sydney Thunders ended their innings at 159 for eight in the 20 overs.

In the chase, even though Jason Roy (27) scored four boundaries and a six, Russell (1-27) had him caught at mid on with score reading 45.

In the very next delivery, Henriques (76 not out) was put down by Clint McKay (0-20). With back to back boundaries, Hughes (54 not out) brought the 50-run stand with Henriques, who smashed a six and three boundaries in the 14th over.

Henriques half-century came off just 34 deliveries while Hughes completed his own in 44 balls as the Sixers reached the target in 18 overs with nine wickets in hand. Henriques was awarded the man of the match for leading from the front.

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