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Sydney Sixers top Hobart Hurricanes in final-over thriller

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Big-hitting Smith saves Sixers

Another half-century to captain Steve Smith sees the Sydney Sixers get home by 7-runs against the Hobart Hurricanes at the SCG.

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Brett Lee lost the war of words but had the last laugh after the Sydney Sixers came back from the brink of defeat to beat the Hobart Hurricanes in a Big Bash League thriller on Wednesday night.

Put to the sword by Tim Paine and Ben Dunk, Lee and Josh Hazlewood turned from villains to heroes in a heartstopping finish to lift the Sixers off the canvas to a seven-run victory which has left them well placed to claim a semi-finals berth.

Big hitting: Steve Smith scored 52 off 32 balls.

Big hitting: Steve Smith scored 52 off 32 balls. Photo: Getty Images

The Sixers can seal a place in the semis by winning just one of their final two games but the scenario seemed a lot more difficult after Paine and Dunk smashed 98 runs from 10 overs in a blistering opening stand.

Defending 180 thanks largely to a fluent half-century from Steve Smith, the Sixers were punished early but the spin of Nathan Lyon, Stephen O'Keefe and Marcus North applied the brakes in the middle overs of of Hobart's innings.

The Hurricanes' required run rate ballooned past 10 an over with six overs left but a whirlwind 33 off only 21 balls from Travis Birt set up a nailbiting conclusion.

With the stakes high, it was Lee and Hazlewood who came to the fore, showing nerves of steel at the death.

Hazlewood claimed the prized wicket of Birt before Lee limited Hobart to six in the final over.

Lee had been the talking point for the wrong reasons earlier in the night after unleashing a verbal tirade against Ben Dunk following a line-ball ruling on a low chance when the batsman was on zero.

Dunk was ruled not out by the video umpire after Josh Hazlewood was unsure whether the ball had arrived to him on the full. He later said he was right to hold his ground despite Lee's displeasure.

''If he [Hazlewood] threw the ball up in the air and claimed the catch I would have been happy to go,'' Dunk said.

The Sixers' innings was set up by Smith, who made 52 off 32 balls and shared a vital 77-run stand with Jordan Silk for the fifth wicket.

Despite a strong start from Nic Maddinson and Michael Lumb, the Sixers had been in trouble after losing Moises Henriques and Marcus North in successive overs.

Henriques made 31 off 21 balls and looked set for a big innings until holing out in the deep off Ben Hilfenhaus.

7 comments so far

  • After reading this twice I till have no idea what "war of words" Mr Wu refers to in his first sentence.

    Please explain as there is no suggestion of a verbal altercation during the match at any other stage of the article.

    My only possible suggestion is that it was a clumsy analogy for "losing a battle but winning the war" - but that seems ridiculous given the reference to "words"!

    Commenter
    Alan
    Date and time
    January 16, 2014, 12:39AM
    • You read it twice and still missed this?

      "Lee had been the talking point for the wrong reasons earlier in the night after unleashing a verbal tirade against Ben Dunk following a line-ball ruling on a low chance when the batsman was on zero."

      Lift your game, Alan!

      Commenter
      Stu
      Date and time
      January 16, 2014, 10:04AM
  • Lee seems to care too much about this BBL stuff.

    Commenter
    Al
    Date and time
    January 16, 2014, 8:21AM
    • He cares because it matters. The BBL is a genuine league followed by fans who care. Whilst in its formative stage it appears to have a good future. Having said that the demise of ODIs to the point where CA advertise it as an absurd dress-up party shows how far it has fallen and fortunes could change for the BBL. The National Basketball League was once prominent too. What CA needs to do is gradually pull back on some of the trivialising aspects of the BBL and give it the credibility it deserves eg changing the name incrementally to Australian Cricket League, de-miking on-field players, removing more of the clash with the international fixtures, stop referring to it as a "tournament" when in fact it is a short season league and ask sponsors not to have cheesy comps like the celebrity catch a six which shows a failure of faith in the cricket offering. Could you imagine the AFL allowing a full-forward to be miked or the NRL allowing broadcast chat with Jonathon Thus as he is scrum feeding?

      Commenter
      Pete
      Location
      Chapel Hill
      Date and time
      January 16, 2014, 1:40PM
  • It is amazing how many close finishes there have been this series. Fantastic to watch!

    Commenter
    Roboh
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    January 16, 2014, 9:15AM
    • I was at the match, and Brett Lee looked like a complete goose. There was clear doubt as to whether the catch had been taken, and Lee could be seen on the big screen mouthing off at Dunk.

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      January 16, 2014, 9:17AM
      • Awesome game. Go the 6ers.

        Commenter
        Banta Singh
        Location
        Harris Park
        Date and time
        January 16, 2014, 1:31PM

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