'Gobsmacked': Steve Smith slams ANOTHER Big Bash century before Thunder collapse in horror 'bloodbath'

‘Gobsmacked’: Steve Smith slams ANOTHER Big Bash century before Thunder collapse in horror ‘bloodbath’

Steve Smith can’t be stopped.

The New South Welshman became the second cricketer to score centuries in the Big Bash League, racing to a hat-trick in just 56 deliveries during Saturday night’s emphatic 125-run win over Sydney Thunder.

Smith made an unbeaten 125 (66) at the SCG, the fifth-highest score in BBL history, to back up the century he scored against the Adelaide Strikers in Coffs Harbor earlier this week.

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“I’m speechless,” Sixers captain Moises Henriques said during the innings break.

“Think we don’t let him play last year.

“That was unbelievable. I was on the other end of some of those shots and I was amazed.”

The Sixers ended up amassing 2-187 from their 19 overs in the rain-affected contest, with Henriques contributing a decisive 45 not out at the other end.

The men in lime came nowhere close to chasing down the target, being bowled out for just 62, the club’s second-lowest total in BBL history and badly damaging their net run rate.

Superstar opener David Warner top-scored with an unconvincing 16 (23) — only one other Thunder player to reach double figures.

Steve Smith of the Sixers. Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

After the Sixers won the toss and elected to bat first, Thunder seamer Gurinder Sandhu grabbed an early breakthrough when opposing wicketkeeper Josh Philippe chopped a delivery back onto his stumps for 10 (8).

Later in the same over, Ben Cutting gave a cover chance to give Kurtis Patterson extra life for 2 but he couldn’t make the most of the reprieve, beating a Sandhu delivery and being caught by keeper Matthew Gilkes.

Pakistan spinner Usman Qadir suffered a nasty blow to his thumb in the seventh over, knocking him off the ground in agony – but luckily he returned 15 minutes later after a medical.

Smith and Henriques then combined to form an unbeaten 155-run partnership for the third wicket to put the hosts in a commanding position.

Henriques initially struggled to find the boundary rope, but Smith went ballistic at the other end, clearing the fence in nine overs.

The 33-year-old hit a three-figure leap over long-on in the 17th over, bringing the 38,757 Sydney crowd to their feet.

“The man is an absolute superstar, in front of an adoring SCG crowd,” said Fox Cricket commentator Mark Howard.

“What a gossip, such a player.”

Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh continued: “He put on an absolute clinic here tonight… some display tonight.

“He turned into the Hulk tonight.

The Thunder run chase got off to a poor start, Gilkes departed for 1 (4) in the second over after attempting to hit Sean Abbott over mid-on, instead gifting a regulation catch to Jordan Silk on the inner circle.

Blake Nikitaras scrambled towards 8 (12) in his first BBL knock before miscuing a lofted delivery in the face of Ben Dwarshuis, caught at cover by Henriques.

Experienced tweaker Steve O’Keefe was brought into the attack and he stepped in immediately, dismissing Thunder young gun Ollie Davies for 2 (3) after handing Philip a catch.

Fellow spinner Todd Murphy joined the party soon after when Dwarshuis caught Alex Ross at deep square leg for 6 (10).

Warner struggled to find the middle of his bat on Saturday, eventually falling victim to O’Keefe, who later also sent Daniel Sams to run out cheaply.

The 38-year-old wasn’t done there, removing Ben Cutting for 6 (9) for his fourth scalp of the evening as the Thunder crumbled to 7-48.

“This was a bloodbath, wasn’t it?” said former Australian bowler Brett Lee on Fox Cricket.

Howard continued: “This is an absolute belt at the SCG.”

Dwarshuis returned to the attack and found immediate success when he dismissed Thunder teenager Joel Davies for 10 (10) caught by Murphy at deep mid-wicket.

Abbott ended proceedings by removing tailenders Sandhu and Qadir for a duck to bowl the opposition across town in 15 overs – the 125-run loss being the fifth biggest margin of defeat in BBL history.

O’Keefe finished with career-best figures of 4-10 from three overs.

Earlier on Saturday, Sixers all-rounder Daniel Christian announced his retirement, with the current Big Bash tournament to be his last.


Sixers XI

Josh Philippe (wk), Steve Smith, Kurtis Patterson, Moises Henriques (c), Jordan Silk, Hayden Kerr, Dan Christian, Ben Dwarshuis, Sean Abbott, Todd Murphy, Stephen O’Keefe

Thunder XI

David Warner, Matthew Gilkes (wk), Blake Nikitaras, Oliver Davies, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Ben Cutting, Joel Davies, Chris Green (c), Gurinder Sandhu, Usman Qadir

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