The Sydney Sixers have become the first side to reach this year’s Big Bash League final after a comprehensive 87 run victory over the Adelaide Strikers.
The Sixers, who finished in fourth place at the end of the regular season, won the toss and chose to bat.
They altered their line up a little and promoted Riki Wessels to open with fellow countryman Michael Lumb. The two Englishmen got their side off to a quick start before Lumb was run out for 32 of 19 balls, bringing to the crease Nic Maddinson.
The Aussie put on a further 29 with Wessels (24 off 24) but as the innings went on, upped his scoring, hitting seven 4’s and five 6’s on his way to making 85, his third wicket stand of 82 with captain Moises Henriques took the Sydney outfit to 181/4.
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If chasing 182 wasn't going to be difficult enough, chasing it against a plethora of talented Australian bowlers, including national spinner Nathan Lyon, making his first appearance as well as quickie Brett Lee, playing in potentially his last game having announced his retirement, was going to make it that bit harder.
Wickets fell quickly for the Strikers; Craig Simmons was the first to go, for five, soon followed by Travis Head (8), Tim Ludeman (15) and Ryan ten Doeschate (5), leaving the table-toppers in a precarious situation.
Only veteran Brad Hodge could reach 20 as his side were bowled out for just 94, ending their hopes of winning their first Big Bash title. Meanwhile, the Sixers will look for their second crown, following victory in 2011/12, and will take on the Perth Scorchers on January 28.