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Sean Abbott, Moises Henriques and Jordan Silk put Sixers on top of the table

With a seven-wicket victory over Sydney Thunder, Sydney Sixers mainstays Sean Abbott, Moises Henriques, and Jordan Silk helped their team climb to the top of the BBL standings. At Sydney Showground Stadium, the Sixers’ potent bowling attack was led by paceman Abbott, who held Thunder to 133 for eight in their Sydney Smash derby.

After four overs, the Sixers were down to 25 for three, but Silk and Henriques, the middle-order pillars, took over the game with an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 109 off 75 balls. Silk (59 off 42) and Henriques (53 off 38) showed off their skill by manipulating the ball into spaces for singles and occasionally smacking boundaries when the Thunder bowlers miscued.

It was Henriques’ greatest score thus far in the season and Silk’s first BBL 50 of the year. Despite Perth having two games in hand, the victory put the Sixers ahead of the Scorchers and into first place with 3.4 overs remaining. Thunder, who slid to fourth on net run rate and fell behind Melbourne Renegades after losing for the first time in five games.

In front of over 21,000 people, both innings got off to a similar start. Within the first three overs, Thunder collapsed to 12 for three with all three batsmen being out by lbw. In his first BBL game of the year, Alex Ross (34 off 34) and Sam Whiteman (42 off 34) had a fourth wicket partnership of 64, reviving the Thunder innings.

The Sixers recovered control by collecting 3 for 17, but Ben Cutting’s ferocious late-inning hitting (26 not out from 15 balls) increased Thunder’s final score. Andrew Tye of the Scorchers and Henry Thornton of the Strikers are tied for the second-highest season totals with Abbott (3-9 from four overs) after bowling 17 dot balls to raise his season total to 16.

Like the Sixers, Thunder needed fast wickets and scored three runs during the powerplay. Josh Philippe was caught at slip by captain and spinner Chris Green (2-29 off four) in the second over, while James Vince was removed by Cutting with a brilliant leaping catch off Brendan Doggett (1-23 off four).

The recalled Kurtis Patterson was then caught in the deep by Green. Hales, Vince, and Sixers paceman Chris Jordan were all representing England in their last BBL match of the year. Test players Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon will return to the Sixers, while David Warner will rejoin the Thunder.

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