A swashbuckling captain's knock from Moises Henriques has powered Sydney Sixers to a 21-run win over the BBL's table-topping Melbourne Stars at the SCG.
Henriques put on a masterclass in Twenty20 batting during Monday night's rain-affected clash, hammering 72 from 31 balls as his team banked their first win since January 8 to reclaim second spot on the ladder.
Fellow allrounder Marcus Stoinis (62) threatened to outgun Henriques while effortlessly smoking seven boundaries, many of which were similar to those struck during an unbeaten 147 which recently silenced the Sixers at the MCG.
But Stoinis' attempt to crash a third-consecutive six off Test tweaker Nathan Lyon proved his downfall as the Stars finished at 5-125 in pursuit of a target of 147 from 14 overs.
Glenn Maxwell's decision to bat at No.4 below Nic Maddinson surprised many in the commentary box, with the Stars' game-changing skipper not walking out until the victory equation was 62 runs off 26 balls.
Maxwell scored 12 and was unable to conjure any miracles while facing 13 deliveries.
Fittingly, it was Henriques who held onto the clutch catch off a swirling, skied edge to dismiss Stoinis, the BBL's leading run-scorer.
"We can't get ahead of ourselves by any stretch ... it's just one good performance," Henriques said.
"It's nice to get the points, especially over the Stars, but we've got to do it again."
Henriques and James Vince (41no) earlier shared the highest third-wicket stand in franchise history, adding 114 runs while rocketing their team to 4-143.
The target was bumped up as per Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) rules, factoring in a rain delay of almost one hour that came just 3.1 overs into the innings.
The Stars, who rested spearhead Nathan Coulter-Nile, were already guaranteed of finishing the regular season in top spot.
But the title favourites' second loss this campaign will provide hope to all rivals, showing that even the most in-form juggernaut can come unstuck in T20 cricket.
"They were far too good," Stars coach David Hussey said.
"We've won so many games that we've qualified first ... but every game is still important and we were desperate to win tonight."
Henriques started cautiously after his team slipped to 2-26 then pummelled an inexperienced attack that was minus Coulter-Nile and Pakistani express paceman Haris Rauf.
The skipper smacked eight sixes, including consecutive blows in an over from Sandeep Lamichhane which cost 24 runs.
The 32-year-old and Vince helped themselves to 26 runs off the final over delivered by Lance Morris, a 21-year-old who made his BBL debut earlier this month.
Henriques, deceived by a slower ball from Dan Worrall that he chipped to former teammate Maddinson, fell five runs short of equalling his career-best T20 score.
Worrall's figures of 1-15 were remarkable given the carnage that otherwise unfolded.
Australian Associated Press