Opener inspires Sixers to win over Heat
UNHERALDED opener Daniel Hughes and veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin continued a wonderful day for Sydney cricket fans.
Just hours after Test openers David Warner and Matt Renshaw piled on the runs against Pakistan at the SCG, the Sydney Sixers handed the Brisbane Heat their first defeat in the Big Bash League this season.
Chasing 187 for victory, Sixers pair Hughes (85 off 55) and Haddin (32 off 13) silenced the 32,371 locals - and one annoying Gabba ground announcer - with a three-wicket victory with two balls to spare.
The win was the Sixers' third from five matches and kept them well in the title race.
They will host the Melbourne Renegades on Monday at the SCG.
Hughes, who does not have the same profile as some of his international powerhouse teammates, rated his winning knock up there with a triple century he scored in a NSW second XI game last year.
But the 27-year-old was keen to credit the bowlers for the win, especially Sean Abbott, whose 3-38 - including the prized scalps of Brendon McCullum and danger man Chris Lynn - made sure he remained the BBL's best bowler this summer.
"That was awesome tonight, and I was just told we had never chased down 180 before in the six years of this competition,” Hughes said.
"I don't hit the ball as far as these guys, and it's taken me a few years to know that. I just have to stay calm and play my game.
"With all the big hitters at the top of the order, I'm up there to play my cricket shots, get off strike and let them hit the big balls. That's my role.”
Hughes, who posted an unbeaten half-century in the Sixers' opening win over the Sydney Thunder - and 50 in his last Sheffield Shield game last month - looked solid from the outset.
He kept his cool as his big-name teammates including Jason Roy, Moises Henriques and Sam Billings fell around him, posting 50 in 34 balls, then upping the ante when 39-year-old Brad Haddin went berserk.
Nic Maddinson also produced a brilliant catch when he lost balance, threw the ball up for himself and jumped back inside the rope to catch Alex Ross.
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