A sensational innings by Sydney Sixers’ batsman Daniel Hughes has guided his team to a thrilling Boxing Day BBL win over the Melbourne Stars.
Hughes stunned the Stars, smashing 96 off just 51 deliveries as the Sixers chased a victory target of 194 with a ball and a wicket to spare at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
Melbourne would have felt safe after Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran combined to smash 125 runs for the fifth wicket, featuring 13 sixes, as the Stars made 5-193 in their innings.West Indian left-hander Pooran, batting for the first time this summer for the Stars, smashed 65 off just 26 balls to delight a small crowd at a mostly empty Metricon Stadium.
Maxwell finished the innings with his fifth six to end on 71 not out off 47 balls in a typically destructive display from the Australian all-rounder.That partnership looked a match-winner as the Sixers struggled to keep wickets in hand but Hughes’ knock, which included six fours and seven sixes delivered them an unlikely win.
The Sixers’ hopes appeared shot when Maxwell caught big-hitting West Indian Carlos Brathwaite (21 off 12) on the boundary in the penultimate over.That meant Sydney had to score 20 runs off the final over with just two wickets in hand but Hughes made the most of Nathan Coulter-Nile being off the field, leaving Maxwell to bowl the final over.
Hughes belted a six, a four and a six before holing out and then four leg-byes off the penultimate ball sealed the win for the Sixers.