sydney sixers 187 for 2 in 19 overs (Smith 125*, Henriques 45*, Sandhu 2-42) Sydney Thunder 62 (Warner 16, O’Keefe 4-10, Abbott 3-11) by 125 runs>
After the Sixers opted to bat, Smith was quickly in his stride, hitting his second ball for a four, playing a brilliant back-foot drive against Chris Green in the second over to hit Daniel Sams for his first six.
But Smith was in the zone when Gurinder Sandhu top-edged twice in the fourth over – pulling off Josh Philippe and dropping Curtis Patterson off three deliveries.
There were periods of consolidation where three overs from the fifth to the seventh did not produce a boundary before Smith deposited Joel Davis straight down the ground. This marked a gear change for Smith, who scored a 31-ball fifty in an over that put Sams in the stands.
Smith’s 125* was the highest T20 innings at the SCG, surpassing Shane Watson’s 124 against India in 2016, and his performance has highlighted his omission from Australia’s T20 squad, even if there were logical reasons behind it.
Henriques’ painful supporting role
The Sixers captain had one of the best seats in the house, though he took some flak for his efforts. He struggled a few starts and scored 15 off 19 balls before Qadir was sent over long-on, though Smith was able to do the heavy lifting in the bigs.
He suffered a painful chin injury in the 14th over when a throw from the outfield bounced to the edge of the pitch and missed his helmet. In the penultimate over, he himself was Smith’s target when a hard-hitting drive from Sams at the non-striker’s end hit him in the thigh.
Ultimately, the third wicket partnership ended up as the Sixers’ second highest in the BBL and the highest partnership for that wicket in the tournament’s history.
Warner struggles as Thunder slide
He didn’t often have much strike – facing only 23 balls until he fell in the tenth over – but he couldn’t carry his innings and the frustration was palpable. Finally, he took a catch down the leg side against the skilful Steve O’Keefe as the Thunder’s chase collapsed in a heap. Warner’s final tally was the third slowest double-figure innings of his T20 career.
The Thunder have faced some significant batting struggles this season, however could still make the Finals with one game remaining.
Lyon sits out again
He will be re-evaluated ahead of the Sixers’ final regular-season match against the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday, but no risks will be taken given the proximity of the India tour – as well as the fact the Sixers are well-stocked for spinners . At least this time. They will have to use their bench strength when both Lyon and Todd Murphy, who bowled a lot of pace in this game, have departed for India. Smith may also be gone by then, but he has definitely left his mark on this year’s tournament.
Andrew McGlashan is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo