Sixers derby win ends Thunder’s finals hopes

Daniel Hughes and Joe Denly pilot the Sixers first win of the BBL season with the Sydney Smash decided on the last ball on Saturday night.

Hughes played the support role to the more aggressive Joe Denly during the early stages of the Sydney Sixers run chase, the pair putting on 69 in nine overs before the Englishman was knocked over by Fawad Ahmed.

Hughes then took charge to ensure the Sixers notched their first victory of their KFC Big Bash League campaign following six consecutive losses, compiling a well-made 66 not out from 55 balls and striking four boundaries and a six.

Hughes was also involved in a 58-run stand with Nic Maddinson and while the match probably shouldn’t have come down to the last ball because of the wickets the Sixers had in hand, they got the desired result after being in control for most of their innings.

In his first appearance at BBL level, Denly whacked an action packed 43 from 28 balls, including three sixes.

It didn’t take long for the opener to get his eye in, belting two sixes off Gurinder Sandhu in the third over of the Sixers’ innings.

Denly, who represents Kent in the ECB’s County cricket competition and has played five T20 internationals for England and 163 T20s, replaced Jason Roy as one the BBL club’s international and made an encouraging start, hitting the ball crisply and showing his ability to clear the rope.

The score: Sydney Sixers -2-157 (Daniel Hughes 66no, Joe Denly 43; Fawad Ahmed 1-22) defeated Sydney Thunder 6-156 (Chris Green 49, James Vince 34; Moises Henriques 2-25)

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