The Sydney Sixers sealed back-to-back Big Bash League (BBL) titles after beating the Perth Scorchers by 27 points in the final between the league’s two most successful teams at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
The Sixers, who played at home for the first time in the tournament with a crowd of around 25,000 fans in attendance, are now tied with the Scorchers with three titles apiece after 10 editions of the BBL.
“It was a pretty special atmosphere,” said Sixers captain Moises Henriques. “We got used to playing in empty stands so coming home and playing in front of that crowd was fantastic. They gave us an extra leg.
“Batted by the Scorchers, Sixers opening batsman James Vince smashed 95 balls on 60 balls including 10 limits and three sixes, preparing his team to finish on 188-6 after their 20 assists.
After scoring 98 points in a successful qualifying chase against the same opponents, Vince narrowly missed a century trying to cut spinner Fawad Ahmed, but produced a thick advantage to find Mitchell Marsh in backstop.
In response, the Scorchers started on the front foot with Cameron Bancroft (30) and Liam Livingstone (45) scoring over 10 points per over.
But fast bowler Jackson Bird strangled the score and conceded just 14 points in his first three overs, with the veteran initially dismissing Bancroft before getting rid of Livingstone.
With a build-up of pressure and 75 points to get six assists, Ben Dwarshuis struck twice when Vince first took a sharp diving blow into the covers to send Marsh back before Josh Inglis sliced a shot at Henriques at mid race.
Aaron Hardie provided late fireworks with 26 of 13, but it was too big a mountain to climb as Dwarshuis had grabbed him for his third wicket, before the tails fell cheap and the Scorchers went down fell short of finishing on 161-9.
“Credit goes to Sydney,” said Scorchers captain Ashton Turner. “They have been the best team in the competition for two years and they deserve the title.”