Sydney Sixers’ much-vaunted batsman Josh Philippe crushed 85 points on 52 balls to catapult the Men in Pink to a landslide victory over the Perth Scorchers at Manuka Oval.
To indicate how good the right-hander was, it took Jhye Richardson’s ‘no side’ delivery and an impulsive hit to send him back to the lodge, but he had already set the Sixers up for a seven-wicket victory with seven balls remaining.
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Philippe strengthened his lead over Sydney Thunder batsman Alex Hales at the top of the BBL10 race standings in a hit scored with 10 fours and a six.
And although he seemed to be heading for the first century BBL of the summer, the 23-year-old was defeated when he stepped into the line of the ball and tried to straddle it on a thin leg, only to having his stumps slammed.
Not only was Philippe likely distracted by the whimsical footwork Richardson sometimes throws in his tracks, but the game had come to a halt after the previous childbirth as a Sixers medic assessed the youngster after a short bullet hit in its grid.
Philippe’s turn shot attempt that resulted in his wicket crashing took former Australian all-rounder Brendon Julian by surprise.
“A very unusual blow for Philippe after being hit on the grill, and it’s a breakdown of partnership,” Julian said on the Fox Cricket cover.
“Don’t worry about the ‘unusual hits,’ Australian tall Mark Waugh said.
“Take a look at Jhye Richardson’s delivery stride. He comes out like a goose and it did the trick. He ran just before throwing the ball.
“The first time Josh Philippe looked for that kind of a blow all night, and he paid the price, but a big blow.”
“Superb. The golden bat leaves the center,” he said.
“He puts the Sixers in a great position which is why he has the most points in the competition.”
Philippe has now plundered 506 points in 12 innings to an average of 42.16 in BBL10, in a hot streak underscored by a 95, 85 tonight, a 64 and two innings of 48.
Hales amassed 323 points, while Ben McDermott (301), Glenn Maxwell (292) and Marcus Stoinis (290) complete the first five points.
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Australian superstar wicket keeper Alyssa Healy praised Philippe’s performance.
“What a player, what a game,” Healy said.
“Great behind the stumps, great with the bat in hand.”
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