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Thunder hit for six in BBL season opener

Cricket

Big-hitting Sydney Sixers captain Moises Henriques is certain a side strain won't stop him belting more boundaries against Hobart Hurricanes on Friday, and even hopes to resume bowling later in the BBL season.

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Henriques inspired last night’s season-opening, nine-wicket thumping of Sydney Thunder despite carrying an injury that is stopping him with the ball.

The Sixers ruthlessly deposed the reigning champions at Spotless Stadium to reassert themselves as Sydney’s top side, last season’s wooden-spooners making an early statement to their rivals.

Henriques was seen stretching in between deliveries en route to a match-high unbeaten 76 off 41 balls, which included four monstrous sixes and seven fours during his match-winning partnership with opener Daniel Hughes (54 not out).

However the 29-year-old, who made the Thunder pay after Clint McKay grassed a chance off his first ball, insisted he didn’t encounter any serious issues with his movement.

“There was a little bit of a tickle in the first six, but after I got warm and running it was fine, so no worries there batting,” Henriques said.

“I’ll be good to go next game.

“There’ll still be a bit of a delay on the bowling but I didn’t feel it at all in the field.

“I’m hoping to be back bowling towards the back end of the tournament.”

It’s tough timing for Henriques, who might have pushed for Boxing Day Test selection as an allrounder had he not sustained the strain a few weeks ago.

“There were Test matches to be played before the Boxing Day Test as well,” he said.

“I’ve got to get bowling and get fit, and even when I get back fit and bowling I’ve got to be bowling and batting well.”

On a night in which Andre Russell’s black and pink bat stole the headlines, Henriques’ English teammate Jason Roy (27) stole the show with an early contender for catch of the season.

“I reckon he’s got another one in him before he goes as well,” Henriques said.

“Watching it fast and live for the first time was excellent – slow motion doesn’t sum up how well he moved to the ball.”

It remains to be seen if Russell will use his controversial bat against the Melbourne Renegades on Thursday night, though Cricket Australia said there were no legal issues.

While Henriques repeated Sixers wicketkeeper Brad Haddin’s claim it had left black marks on the ball, it appeared not to give an advantage to the Jamaican star, who was caught and bowled for nine by Doug Bollinger.

“I thought it was a big piece of metal – I didn’t know wood came in that colour,” Henriques said.

“But we’re innovating the game… something different is fine.”

The Adelaide Strikers kick off their BBL campaign against Brisbane Heat at Adelaide Oval tonight.

-AAP

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