Josh Philippe and Daniel Hughes scored half centuries as the Sixers made up for a slow start
Sydney Sixers 5 for 197 (Hughes 66, Philippe 57, Henriques 47*) beaten Sydney Thunder 9 for 137 (Green 50*, O’Keefe 4-18) by 60 points
The result at SCG on Saturday lifted the Sixers to second in the standings on net run rate above Thunder, who played one more game and suffered back-to-back losses.
Thunder had 28 more power-play points than Sixers, but O’Keefe, 37, back after missing two games with a hand injury, sparked a massive meltdown. He took two wickets on his first and third overs as the Thunder were down 7 for 38 before a ninth wicket of 56 saved some pride. Captain Chris Green scored his first BBL half-century, with the visitors finishing on 9 for 137.
Alex Hales gave the Thunder a quick start, taking three fours off Sean Abbott in second. But O’Keefe beat Hales with his first delivery and had Alex Ross caught behind three balls later to alter the momentum.
O’Keefe struck twice more when he caught the dangerous long-range Daniel Sams and puzzled Oliver Davies. The Thunder dropped to 5 for 61 in the 10th and 8 for 80 in the 13th.
Earlier, the Sixers took 28 balls to cross their first boundary but made the most of their chances. After a lean streak of three ducks in four innings, Philippe was dropped on the 9th and made Thunder pay.
Returning to his solid early season form, Philippe broke five fours and two sixes, landing some well-executed ramp shots and big shots to the side of the leg.
Australian T20 and ODI representatives Philippe and Hughes picked up the pace, adding 82 in just under 10 overs. Hughes, who scored just two runs on his first 11 serves, recorded a record fifth half-century in Sydney Smash matches, a game in which he scored more runs than any other player.
Hughes and Henriques kept the pressure on the Thunder bowlers, going 77 in seven overs.
Thunder was guilty of a sloppy lineout and pacemen Mohammed Hasnain and Sams were visibly flustered by the former exchange of words with Henriques – when the Sixers captain appeared to cheekily suggest the speedy Pakistani was throwing.
Sams and teammate Nathan McAndrew each took two wickets, but Hasnain, playing his last game before heading home, was clearly Thunder’s most economical bowler.