Collapse big blow to Sixers’ title shot
THE Sydney Sixers blew their gift-wrapped chance to host a Big Bash semi-final after one of the most humiliating defeats in the tournament’s history.
Needing only to avoid a flogging to lock up the first semi-final at the SCG in five years, the Sixers were whipped by 94 runs after crumbling to 74 all out — the fourth-lowest total in BBL history.
Led by a ruthless batting display from Glenn Maxwell, whose 82 off 43 balls was more than the entire Sixers team managed, the Stars leapfrogged Brisbane Heat to snatch the last playoff berth while leaving the Sixers scrambling to pick up the pieces.
“I don’t try looking at the future too far but I definitely didn’t see this coming,” Sixers captain Moises Henriques said.
“It was probably our worst fielding performance in the tournament. And I don’t even know where to start with the batting. I’m just happy we got that game out of the way tonight and not next Friday.”
All the talk about the Sixers steaming towards their first title since 2012 has now disappeared without trace after one afternoon of carnage.
The Sixers would have finished the regular season in second and earnt a home semifinal if they had just made 108 in reply to the Stars’ 6-168.
Instead they dropped to third place, just behind the Renegades on run rate, so will return to Melbourne on Friday for the second semi-final, while the Stars will play the tabletopping Hurricanes in Hobart 24 hours earlier.
Few could have predicted the Sixers would collapse so dramatically after their toporder batsmen went into yesterday’s match in great form, piling on the runs as they racked up four consecutive wins.
But once the first wicket fell, the rest just dropped like dominoes as they were bowled out in less than 14 overs.
Dan Hughes was the top scorer with 12 and their embarrassing total of 74 was 25 fewer than the previous worst by a Sixers team, and 14 below the lowest from any team this season. At least it wasn’t the worst of all time.
That unwanted record is held by the Renegades, who were skittled for 57 in 2015, also by the Stars.
Good luck picking the winners of the Big Bash because the form guide going into the playoffs won’t offer many clues.
The Stars celebrate after dismissing Sean Abbott yesterday.