Sydeny Sixers defended their Big Bash League title succesfully by beating Perth Scorchers by 27 runs in an exciting final at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday. Winning the toss, the Perth Scorchers invited the defending champions to bat. Opener Josh Philippe departed early for nine runs, courtesy a mix-up in the middle.

With almost two new batsmen in the middle, the bowling unit aimed to pile up more pressure. However, James Vince, the other opener, had other plans in mind. He played a calculated innings to set up a solid base for his team.

The English right-handed batsman scored a thrilling 95 off 60 balls, with a strike rate of 158.33. During his stay in the middle, he hit ten boundaties and three maximums.

The bowling department did take wickets occasionaly, but the hosts were en route a big score. While the wickets kept falling, the Sixers’ middle-order continued chipping in with valuable runs. Daniel Hughes (13), Moises Henriques (18), Jordan Silk (17) and Dan Christian (20) kept the scoreboard ticking.

For Scorchers, Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye picked two wickets each.

The Ashton Tunrer-led team, in reply to 188, could only muster 161/9 in 20 overs.

Apart from the openers Cameron Bancroft (30) and Liam Livingstone (45), none of other other batsmen could create any threat. For Sixers, Ben Warshius was their pick of the bowler, returning with figures of 3/37 in his stipulated four overs.

Jackson Bird, Sean Abbott and Daniel Christian shared six wickets among them.

“It’s a special atmosphere, we got used to playing in front of empty stands, and to have our home crowd cheering for us has been fantastic. It gives us an extra leg, and I’d like to thank every one of you and the effort you made to come and see us,” captain Henriques said in the post-match presentation.

“We have a lot of respect for Perth, they play tough cricket and fight hard, and chase every ball down, disciplined bowling unit, and some amazing hitter. It’s been a great effort from them to get here, so kudos to them,” Henriques said about the losing team.

Turner, the losing captain, credited the sixers and expressed hope of giving it another crack in the next season.

“It’s been exciting that two of the best teams in the competition have come head to head at the pointy end of the tournament. Thank you to everyone at Cricket Australia, there’s been a mountain of work that has gone on behind the scenes and thanks to the crowd too. Well done to the Sydney Sixers,” Turner said.

Vince, adjudged man of the match, said that he enjoyed his team in Australia. “I’m happy to have made the contributions, but I couldn’t have done it without the guys who have done it throughout the competition, so I wouldn’t have had the platform without them. Even the backroom staff have been outstanding throughout the tournament, so I’m very grateful to the whole contingent.”