Sixers get Big Bash underway with dominant victory over the Thunder in the Sydney Smash

Sixers get Big Bash underway with dominant victory over the Thunder in the Sydney Smash

The Sydney Sixers defeated the Sydney Thunder by nine wickets to open their account in the 2016-17 Big Bash

Tom Hiscott

In the 2016-17 Big Bash opener, the Sydney Sixers defeated last year's champions and their cross-city rivals the Sydney Thunder by nine wickets. 

After restricting the home side to 159-8 from their 20 overs, half-centuries from Moises Henrqiues and Daniel Hughes took the Sixers home with two overs to spare. 

Gibson makes 53 in under-par Thunder batting effort

Without the top four batsman from last year's champion side for various reasons, the Thunder could only muster 159 from their allotment of overs. 

They lost Kurtis Patterson early in the piece, before Ryan Gibson and Eoin Morgan steadied the innings with a 55-run partnership for the second wicket. 

England captain Morgan made 26 from 19 balls which included the first six of the tournament before he was caught behind off of Johan Botha's first delivery of the match. 

Gibson meanwhile never really took over, but played an important hand while wickets fell around him. The young opener's 53 came from 43 balls and included just four boundaries before he was dismissed in the 17th over. 

The chief destroyers for the Sixers were seam duo Joe Mennie and Doug Bollinger who each picked up a pair of wickets, with Bollinger claiming the major scalp of Andre Russell just as the West Indian looked set to launch. 

Some destructive batting in the final few overs from Pat Cummins who hit three sixes in his 20-ball 30 pushed the Thunder towards a competitive total of 159 on what looked like a difficult pitch for new batsmen. 

Unbeaten century stand leads Sixers to successful chase 

Another English batsman made a great impression in the first game of the tournament, with Jason Roy backing up his thrilling catch while fielding with 27 runs to get the Sixers off to a flyer which included a humongous six. 

At the fall of his wicket, Sixers captain Henriques was dropped off his first ball and made the Thunder pay with a batting masterclass. His 76 came from just 41 balls and included seven fours and four sixes as he continued his strong form from the recent Matador Cup

At the other end, Hughes played an important role, hitting an unbeaten half century as the Thunder bowling attack failed to make the needed inroads in a defeat which puts them under pressure at the start of the competition. 

The Thunder are back in action in just two days time when they travel to take on Aaron Finch and the Melbourne Renegades, while the Sixers will enjoy their first home clash at the SCG on Friday when they host the Hobart Hurricanes and will look to go two-from-two.