Ben Rohrer congratulates Sydney Thunder captain Michael Husssey on reaching his half-century during their win over the Sydney Sixers. Photo: Cameron Spencer
Sydney Thunder captain Michael Hussey has led his team to an historic 36-run victory over the Sydney Sixers in the opening match of the Big Bash League fifth season.
A crowd of just over 18,000 at Sydney's Spotless Stadium saw Thunder beat their cross-town rivals for the first time in eight meetings to get their campaign off to the perfect start.
It was also just their sixth victory overall in the Big Bash League.
Hussey blasted an unbeaten 80 from 59 balls as Thunder posted 4-158 from their 20 overs batting first.
After Brad Haddin and Englishman Michael Lumb got the run chase away to a flyer, West Indian Andre Russell (3-13) ripped through the Sixers top order to put the Sixers on the back foot.
Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, in his debut for Thunder, then claimed 3-13 in the middle part of the innings as Thunder dismissed the Sixers for 122 in the last over.
The 40-year-old Hussey was the star of the show for the Thunder, hitting five boundaries and four sixes in his man-of-the match knock and was well supported by Ben Roherer (30).
They combined for a 72-run fourth wicket partnership off 46 balls after Sixers had reduced Thunder to 3-69 in the 11th over.
Lumb (34) top-scored for Sixers as they lost 5-12 in the middle overs which cost them any chance of winning.
Former Melbourne Stars paceman Clint McKay chipped in with 2-11 in his debut for Thunder.