The Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers squared off on Thursday in the much-anticipated Big Bash clash, during which AB de Villiers and Steve Smith went head to head.
The Heat began desperate for victory having lost their previous two matches. Skipper Chris Lynn won the bat flip and elected to bat first against a star-studded Sixers team, sitting third on the table and featuring a number of internationals.
The decision to bat first did not pay off as De Villiers joined opener Sam Heazlett at the crease with the Heat on 33-2 after the early departures of Chris Lynn and Matt Renshaw.
Heazlett didn’t last much longer and South African-born Marnus Labuschagne partnered De Villiers in the middle in the hope of restoring the Brisbane outfit’s innings.
But the in-form Australian batsman struggled to get going and mistimed a pull shot off Tom Curran’s bowling, which was caught by Smith at mid-on.
De Villiers also struggled to find his rhythm as batsmen continued to fall around him with English fast bowler Curran hitting excellent lengths, which even the former South Africa captain couldn’t guide to the boundary.
He would eventually fall to left-armer Ben Dwarshuis after trying to go for a big shot only to find Smith on the boundary. His 25 came off 26 deliveries but without a single boundary hit.
They would stumble to 126-8 thanks to a late cameo by James Pattinson (27 off 15).
The Sixers came out firing with openers James Vince and Josh Philippe taking the attack to the Heat’s bowlers.
The Englishman raced to a 34-ball half-century before he was dismissed for 51 by Ben Laughlin.
Smith came in third but could only manage nine before he was caught behind off Pattinson’s bowling.
Philippe then brought up his half-century to steer the Sixers to a resounding eight wicket victory, handing the Heat their seventh defeat of the competition.
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