Josh Philippe has once again put his name up in lights with a stunning 52-ball 84 as the Sydney Sixers moved nine points clear at the top of the BBL ladder with a seven wicket win over the Perth Scorchers.
Philippe’s ruthless knock guided his side to the win with seven balls still remaining but he was left furious after he was bowled by former Australian quick Jhye Richardson in a brilliant new innovation.
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While batsmen have the switch hit and are able to move around the crease, bowlers have been at yet another disadvantage in the shorter forms of the game – until now.
Taking the lead from the football codes, the Western Australian quick ran right up to the line before putting in a right foot step any footballer would have been proud of to bamboozle Philippe.
Having been rattled by a short ball that hit his chin just before the wicket, Richardson stepped wide on the crease with Philippe following the bowler and leaving his stumps exposed as he went for a wild swipe having moved right outside offstump.
As the wicket fell, Fox Sports’ Brendan Julian said the shot was “unusual” from Philippe but Mark Waugh was more interested in the move from the bowler.
“Don’t worry about unusual, look at Jhye Richardson’s delivery stride, the old goosestep,” Waugh said.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 16, 2021
Alyssa Healy said it was a brand new tactic.
“It’s something he’s been working on, I’ve seen him do it a couple of times in this Big Bash already,” Healy said. “It’s 100 per cent got to put the batter off I would have thought. A little cheeky sidestep here and then pushed it out the front, it wasn’t an on-speed delivery, it was sort of a slower delivery that Philippe was not quite sure what to do with. But full credit to a fast bowler who can charge in like that and sidestep at the last minute to change their angle, it’s pretty impressive.”
Waugh said it probably wouldn’t be the best thing for your back but said every now and then it could be effective.
Richardson with a sidestep before bowling Philippe. I donât think Iâve ever seen that. Worked though! #bbl10
— Ed Jackson (@edjacko) January 16, 2021
But while Philippe was furious with the dismissal, his 84 along with James Vince’s 52 was enough for the Sixers to chase down the Scorchers’ 7/163.
It could have been a much earlier finish for the Sixers after Liam Livingstone was dropped on just 1 in the second over of the match before unleashing to slam 67 off 38 balls as the Scorchers piled on 1/103 off the first 10 overs.
It was a stunning onslaught but his wicket the ball after the 10th over saw Perth fall in a heap.
With Mitchell Marsh out with a side injury, the Scorchers middle order folded, losing 6/60 in the final 10 overs to reach 7/163.
When Philippe got going, it was all but over as the Sixers star consolidated his spot as the leading scorer in the competition.
“They got off to a flyer and our bowlers did well in the back half of the innings,” Philippe said post-game. “I just feel super relaxed at the moment and that is when I play my best cricket”.
But while the 23-year-old keeper-batsman dominated to take a 98 run lead on top of the run scorers table with 421 runs, some were asking how long before he’d be in green-and-gold.
How long until Josh Philippe plays for Australia? #BBL10
— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) January 16, 2021
— Tom Morris (@tommorris32) January 16, 2021
Josh Philippe is adding consistency to audacity and it’s wonderful to watch #bbl10
— Tim Michell (@tim_michell) January 16, 2021
Josh Philippe is putting his name back up in lights once more as he appears to be guiding the Sixers to another win.
Despite losing the Bash Boost after only reaching 1/72 off 10 overs, when they needed 104 to snatch the extra point, the ladder leaders are all-in for the win.
After 15 overs, the Sixers are 1/131 with Philippe on 80 off 48 balls and James Vince on 42 off 29.
The Sixers need 33 from the final 30 to win.
The imports at the top of the order for the Perth Scorchers did the job but got no assistance from anyone else.
The Scorchers were 1/103 after 10 overs but all of a sudden batting got really difficult.
Perth got just 6/60 in the second 10 but it will set up an interesting chase.
After 10 overs, the Scorchers were cruising at 1/103 after Liam Livingstone made 67 off 37 balls.
But his 38th ball brought his downfall as he chipped a ball from Jake Ball to Jackson Bird.
Between the 10th over and the 15th over, the Scorchers lost 4/21 in a stunning collapse.
It’s been an incredible turnaround.
And Stephen O’Keefe has had a brilliant comeback despite his second over going for a season record 27.
He finished his four overs with 1/36 – meaning he took 1/9 off the other three overs in a brilliant comeback.
Liam Livingstone is living on borrowed time, and he’s living large in the BBL.
He was on just one before he chipped Steve O’Keefe to Sixers skipper Daniel Hughes.
But despite it being short and flat, the Sixers skipper made a meal of it – something he would come to regret.
Livingstone reached 42 off 18 balls and brought up his 50 off 26 balls.
While O’Keefe’s first over went for three, his second over went for a BBL season record of 27 runs.
Hughes will live to regret that drop.
Some friendly money games on the golf course have been a welcome distraction for the Sydney Sixers ahead of their grudge match against Perth Scorchers in Canberra on Saturday night.
The last time the Big Bash League ladder leaders faced off against the Scorchers, they were smashed by 86 runs in Perth when all-rounder Mitchell Marsh made a stunning 27-ball 57.
The two sides are set to meet again at Canberra’s Manuka Oval and several Sixers teammates hit the fairways of Royal Canberra Golf Club on Thursday in a bid to relax before the big game.
One notable absentee at the golf course was batsman Justin Avendano.
He is talented with both a bat and a club in hand but has been battered into a hiatus from golf by teammate Dan Christian.
“DC has taken all my money. I’ve have had to stop playing because I owe him about four dinners,” Avendano said with a laugh.
“I’ve lost too many games and I’m probably a bit lighter in the pocket as well, so the clubs have gone back into the bag for the moment.
“I think a few of the boys played Royal Canberra yesterday and they had a ball so I might have to come back out and rejoin them.”
The 27-year-old Avendano said the Sixers were licking their wounds immediately after the Scorchers gave them a wake-up call in Perth.
“I’m not sure what we learned because we got absolutely belted,” Avendano said.
“Afterward, coach (Greg Shipperd) said, ‘Let‘s put that in the bin every year a team has one of those performances.’
“No excuses, they were just too good for us. Hopefully at our new home ground at Manuka Oval we can show have changed a little bit and we‘re not going to have the same result.”