Jason Holder has given the Sydney Sixers the perfect parting gift with a 16-run final over to help them to a two-wicket win over the Melbourne Renegades.
- Jason Holder will return to the Caribbean after his match-winning 33 not out to send the Sixers top
- Shaun Marsh had hit 67 from 48 to give the Renegades a chance
- Alex Hales smashed a franchise-record-breaking 71 off 29 balls as the Thunder beat the Stars
In his final game in the Big Bash before heading home to the Caribbean, Holder saved what appeared to be a lost cause chasing down 6-168 on the Gold Coast.
Needing 16 from the final Will Sutherland over, the West Indian captain saw the first delivery go past as a dot and scored two off the next to leave the equation at 14 from four balls.
He then drove Sutherland back down the ground for back-to-back fours, before hitting him long into the grandstand to wrap up the victory with a ball to spare.
“I wasn’t timing it as well as I would like up front, but the positive thing was I kept my wicket intact,” Holder told reporters.
“I knew if I was there at the start of the last over I could give us a chance.
“I just tried to stay calm.”
Holder played just three games for the Sixers but his stint could prove crucial given his 33 not out now has them at the top of the ladder.
“For me it was good to finish off on this note, headed back to the Caribbean tomorrow,” he said.
It came after Rilee Rossouw completed a bizarre catch to put the Renegades on top, removing Jordan Silk for 31 with a ball that bounced off his hands, arms and onto his stomach.
The result compounded the Renegades’ woes as they have now lost four in a row but were at least far more competitive than in their previous outings.
And yet, they still only often had themselves to blame.
Josh Philippe taught the Renegades for a second time this month he should not be given a second chance.
After he turned a life on 44 into his highest score of 95 in a big win just two weeks ago, he threatened to do likewise on Tuesday night.
Dropped on four in the first over of the chase by Imad Wasim, he later hit five straight boundaries off one Sutherland over.
He eventually fell on 48, before the Renegades mounted a fightback.
Earlier, Shaun Marsh gave the Melbourne side a chance to turn their season around with 67 from 48 balls at the top of the order.
But while he formed part of a 75-run opening stand with captain Aaron Finch (39 from 32), the Melbourne team failed to take full advantage of the platform.
They took double figures off just one of the last nine overs, with Daniel Christian finishing with 2-19 from his three overs.
Hales smashes Stars with record-breaking half-ton
Meanwhile, Alex Hales blitzed the fastest half-century in Sydney Thunder’s Big Bash history as they thumped the Melbourne Stars by 75 runs in Canberra.
In one of the most devastating knocks in the franchise’s history, Hales reached 50 off just 21 balls to help the Thunder to 7-219.
The Sydneysiders then defended their own highest team total with ease, as Chris Green took 4-34 to dismiss the Stars for 144 and condemn them to the club’s worst-ever loss.
Hales eventually finished with 71 from 29 deliveries in an incredible innings that included five sixes and eight fours.
The highlights included a slog sweep off Adam Zampa that went onto the roof of the Manuka Oval grandstand to bring up his 50.
The Englishman also hit Nic Maddinson out of the park with a similar shot, before being caught and bowled by him the following ball.
“That was one of those days where you get in the zone and just want to keep batting,” Hales said.
“That can be the way sometimes in T20 cricket. As an opening bat you get the occasional low score.
“So to finally get that match-winning contribution which you want from your international players, it was nice.”
The Thunder were 1-109 at the end of the 10th over with Usman Khawaja (37 off 30) playing second fiddle in the 89-run opening stand with Hales.
Callum Ferguson then finished with 51 from 32 for his third half-century of the season, while Ben Cutting and Chris Green provided late big hitting.
Such was the Thunder’s dominance, there were just 29 dot balls in the entire innings, with just as many fours and sixes hit.
No Stars bowler was spared, with each going at more than eight an over and Zampa claiming 3-49 from his four overs.
“I was actually quite happy with the way we bowled, but when you have a world-class guy like Hales get going there’s not a whole lot you can do ,” Stars captain Glenn Maxwell said.
“We saw that the other night when [Nicholas] Pooran batted [for the Stars against the Sydney Sixers].
“I was proud of our guys for sticking in there, it could have got a lot worse.”
Green did the early damage when he broke the back of the Stars chase by getting Marcus Stoinis for 27 in the fourth over.
He also claimed the scalps of Andre Fletcher, Maddinson and the hard-hitting Ben Dunk for 21 off just nine balls.
Teenage spinner Tanveer Sangha impressed again, taking 2-17 from his four overs.