Philippe tops Maxwell in Sixers' BBL win
In-form opener Josh Philippe has upstaged Glenn Maxwell's maiden Big Bash League century, leading the Sydney Sixers to a solid win over the Melbourne Stars.
Philippe, the BBL's leading run-scorer this season, just missed out on his first T20 century and also the first ton for the Sixers. He hit a six to finish off the match and made an unbeaten 99 as the Sixers won by seven wickets on Wednesday night at the MCG.
After Maxwell belted 103 from 57 balls and led the Stars to 5-177, the Sixers made 3-182 with two balls left. It is only the third time a BBL player has hit a ton and lost.
Philippe survived a scare in the 14th over when he mistimed his hook shot, with the short ball from Brody Couch hitting him in the neck. After a few minutes with team medical staff in the middle, Philippe hit the next delivery for four.
"I'm feeling fine - it was more of a shock than anything," he told Fox Cricket after the game
"I don't think I've ever been hit there, but it felt like it hit me pretty flush at the time - but all good."
Maxwell also nearly dismissed Philippe with the first ball of the innings, but the thick outside edge went over Qais Ahmad at backward point. From there, Philippe was outstanding in his 61-ball knock that featured 11 fours and two sixes.
Sydney captain Moises Henriques (29) and Jordan Silk (25no) gave Philippe invaluable support. The Sixers are top with a 3-1 record as they chase a third-straight title and fourth overall, while the Stars are 2-2.
Maxwell came to the crease with his team in crisis at 2-6 in the wake of their season-opening embarrassment against the Sydney Sixers, when they lost by a BBL-record 152 runs at the SCG.
When he was dismissed in the second-last over on Wednesday night at the MCG, the Stars captain had plundered three sixes and 12 fours. Sixers spinner Steve O'Keefe limped off late in the innings after snaring 1-24 from his four overs.
The Sixers paid for a missed chance in the fifth over, with Lloyd Pope dropping Maxwell in the deep. Nick Larkin and Hilton Cartwright scored 23 apiece in vital half-century partnerships with Maxwell as their captain tore the Sixers attack apart.
Chris Jordan also took 1-24 from four overs for Sydney, while Stars leg-spinner Adam Zampa returned 1-28 from his four overs.