The Sydney Sixers have won a classic after they defeated the Melbourne Renegades by 6 wickets at the SCG thanks to some strong top-order batting performances.
After being sent in to field by the Renegades, Jackson Bird marked his return in Magenta in the first over of the match, when he had Renegades opener Sunil Narine out caught and bowled on the back of some tight bowling.
The early momentum continued with the Sixers when Cameron White was removed by Ben Dwarshius, after looking threatening in his 19 from 13 balls.
Following a cautious start, Renegades captain and opener Aaron Finch began to open his shoulders and soon brought up his half century. It was not until Johan Botha was introduced into the attack that Sixers were able to secure the wicket of the Renegades slogger.
Thisara Perera made his debut for the Renegades, but the big-hitting Sri Lankan was dismissed for just 6, giving Dwarshius his third wicket. Dwarshius was the pick of the bowlers for the Sixers, finishing with figures of 3/35.
Recent test debutant Callum Ferguson was able to help the Renegades finish their innings with a flourish. However, he was dismissed on the final ball of the innings, caught on the boundary by Nic Maddinson off the bowling of the competition's leading wicket-taker Sean Abbott.
Opening the batting for the Sixers was the new combination of Daniel Hughes and Michael Lumb, and this unfamiliarity showed with some shaky running between wickets and a number of near run-outs. Despite this, the two talented batsmen were able to combine for a 72-run partnership that featured some elegant stroke play and clean hitting.
Hughes was out to Sunil Narine in the 7th over, when he was caught on the boundary trying to hit the West Indies spinner for a second six that over.
Shortly after Michael Lumb was caught for 31 off 21 deliveries when he edged one to Narine, leaving the Sixers 2/82 in the 10th over, and creating a momentum swing in favour of the Renegades.
Wickets continued to fall for the Sixers, with Nic Maddinson (26) and Moises Henriques (30) both making starts before being removed cheaply.
This left it to Magenta stalwarts Brad Haddin and Jordan Silk to close out the win for the Sixers and gave Haddin the opportunity to repeat his heroics at the Gabba last week.
With rain falling over the SCG and needing nine runs off the final over, Brad Haddin relished in the pressure and turned back the clock and used his cricketing know-how to guide the Sixers home comfortably with three balls remaining.
After James Pattinson bowled a no ball in the final over, Haddin was given the opportunity at a free hit with just two runs needed to win with three balls remaining.
Haddin drilled his free-hit shot straight to long off for two runs and won the game, however, it took a while for all the players to realise the game was won off the free hit.
The win takes the Sixers to second place on the BBL ladder, equal with the Brisbane Heat on 8 points.
The Sixers will turn out at the SCG again this Saturday when they face the Sydney Thunder in what is predicted to be a sold-out local derby.