Josh Philippe has made a statement to start the BBL season after he blasted the Sydney Sixers to the biggest win in the competition’s history with a 152-run flogging over the Melbourne Stars.
In a demolition job to start the Twenty20 summer on Sunday, Philippe crunched 83 from 47 balls to help the Sixers to their highest-ever total history with 4-213.
The under-strength Stars were then embarrassed, bowled out for 61, narrowly avoiding the lowest total in BBL history in front of a crowd of 10,013.
The rot began in the Stars’ first over when Stephen O’Keefe claimed two wickets before finishing with career-best figures of 4-14, while Sean Abbott bagged 3-14.
Debutant Hayden Kerr also claimed 2-6 as only two Stars batsmen reached double-figures.
And it was all kicked off by Philippe, who was player of the tournament last summer with 508 runs at a strike-rate of close to 150 before being dropped from the World Cup side this year.
He looked poised to become the franchise’s first century-maker before the strike dried up in the final overs, eventually picking up Hilton Cartwright on the legside boundary.
The right-hander smoked eight boundaries and three sixes, with the most spectacular landing on the roof of the Members Pavilion from Rainbird in a 22-run power surge over.
“I think that was the biggest six I will ever hit in my life,” Philippe said.
The 24-year-old worked the ball nicely behind square on the offside with open hands and also scooped and swept behind the wicket.
It comes after he was leapfrogged by fellow West Australian Josh Inglis for the World Cup squad despite playing 10 T20s for Australia in the past year.
“It was great to get a taste,” Philippe said.
“It didn’t quite go to plan, but it’s certainly where I want to get back to.
“As a kid, I always wanted to play for Australia and it’s still no different now.
“Hopefully I can keep doing well and keep putting my name forward.”
Philippe’s knock also included a 90-run opening stand with James Vince, who was the fastest scorer in the partnership before falling to Glenn Maxwell for 44 off 29.
Moises Henriques also smashed an unbeaten 72 from 37 balls in a 102-run stand with Philippe, bringing up his 50 with a six down the ground off debutant Sam Elliott.
After the visitors left out Marcus Stoinis because of a side strain, no Stars bowler was spared as each went at more than eight runs an over.
Sam Rainbird was the most expensive, with his four overs going for 1-59, while Brody Couch picked up wickets at the death to finish with 2-36.
“It wasn’t a great night,” Maxwell said.
“We had a pretty inexperienced start (with the bowlers).
“Our batting group missed a really good opportunity to get into the tournament and get some runs under the belt.
“It’s a tough initiation for these young guys but they’ll learn from the experience.”