Batsman Josh Philippe basked in the Player of the Match award, after guiding the Sydney Sixers to a 19-run victory over the Melbourne Stars in Saturday's Big Bash Final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Phillipe struck 52 from 29 balls, as the Sixers posted 116 for five. The Stars were then limited to an insufficient 97 for six. Inclement weather had reduced both innings to a dozen overs each.
The hard-hitting Phillipe will play for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League later this year.
“When I played my first Big Bash game two years ago I was terrified, so I definitely think after getting a few games under your belt you get used to a lot of the external pressure and noise that you don't really get playing state cricket. When there's 20 or 30 thousand people compared to a 100 it's a different feel. It's definitely something I've worked on and comes with playing a lot of games,” said Philippe.
“I've had a few games this year where I haven't seen it through, I've got out and it's really cost us. A few of them stuck in the back of my mind. I just knew if I was out there towards the back end, it's funny it somehow gets easier, you might nick a four, and you get away and it's a different game so I just try to take it as deep as I can.
“I guess looking at the forecast it continued to get worse, we almost thought we probably weren't going to get on at all. That's not how we wanted to do it, we really wanted to play in front of our home crowd. When you aren't expecting to play you don't get especially nervous, I was actually incredibly calm last night and all day today. When we started I still remained calm which surprised me a bit.”
Henriques on Philippe
Sixers captain praised Philippe. The right-hander was the franchise's leading wicket-taker this season, with 487 in 16 innings at an average of 37.46. He was the tournament's top-scorer overall, behind the Stars' Marcus Stoinis and Sydney Thunder's Alex Hales.
“What he has done this year, we've seen him bat in many different modes throughout the season. We all know he can whack it everywhere around the park but you can't score as many runs as he did throughout the season without composure and making the right decisions at the right times. Not only just whacking it around the park but knowing how to build an innings and get through some tough times through the 20-over period,” added Henriques.