Highly touted Sydney Sixers batsman Josh Philippe has clobbered 85 runs off 52 balls to catapult the men in pink to a crushing victory over the Perth Scorchers at Manuka Oval.
In an indication of how good a nick the right-hander was in, it took Jhye Richardson’s out-of-the-box ‘side-step’ delivery and an impulsive shot to send him back to the pavilion, but he had already set up the Sixers for a seven-wicket win with seven balls remaining.
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Philippe bolstered his lead over Sydney Thunder batsman Alex Hales at the top of the BBL10 runs leaderboard in a knock streaked with 10 fours and a six.
And although he looked to be cruising toward the first BBL century of the summer, the 23-year-old was brought undone when he got inside the line of the ball and tried to lap it over fine leg, only to have his stumps clattered.
Not only was Philippe likely distracted by the fancy footwork Richardson occasionally throws into his run-up, play had halted after the previous delivery as a Sixers medical officer assessed the youngster after a short ball had thudded into his grill.
Philippe’s attempted lap-shot that resulted in the falling of his wicket took former Australia all-rounder Brendon Julian by surprise.
“A very unusual shot for Philippe after getting hit in the grill, and that’s a partnership-breaker,” Julian said on Fox Cricket’s coverage.
“Don’t worry about ‘unusual shot’,” Australian great Mark Waugh said.
“Have a look at Jhye Richardson’s delivery stride. He steps out like the big goose step and it’s done the trick. He ran right out before delivering the ball.
“First time Josh Philippe’s looked for that sort of shot all night, and he’s paid the price, but a great knock.”
“Superb. The golden bat leaves the centre,” he said.
“He’s got the Sixers in a great position and that’s why he has the most runs in the competition.”
Philippe has now plundered 506 runs from 12 innings at an average of 42.16 in BBL10, in a hot streak highlighted by a 95, tonight’s 85, a 64 and two innings of 48.
Hales has amassed 323 runs, while Ben McDermott (301), Glenn Maxwell (292) and Marcus Stoinis (290) round out the top-five run-scorers.
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Superstar Australia wicketkeeper-batter 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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