Philippe stakes national claim in BBL win

Josh Philippe of the Sixers was instrumental in his side's BBL win over the Perth Scorchers.
Josh Philippe of the Sixers was instrumental in his side's BBL win over the Perth Scorchers.

Josh Philippe's push for an Australia cap has gained further steam after he helped the Sydney Sixers to a seven-wicket win over Perth in the Big Bash.

Considered one of Australia's best young players, Philippe put on a masterclass as his 85 from 52 balls helped the Sixers chase down 164 with seven balls to spare.

The 23-year-old's third half-century of the tournament took his run-scoring tally to 422 at 38.36, easily the highest of anyone in the BBL.

After also blitzing the Big Bash last summer, it appears a case of when, not if, wicketkeeper-batsman Philippe will play for the national side.

Australia have a five-match Twenty20 tour of New Zealand starting next month, where player depth could be tested if the concurrent Test tour of South Africa goes ahead.

Even if Alex Carey is available and Australia do not take him to South Africa as back-up to Tim Paine, Philippe has now proven he could play as a batsman-only against New Zealand.

"No doubt he will play a number of games for Australia," English star and Sydney Sixer James Vince said.

"The quicker you can give someone like that an opportunity the better because everyone can see that he's ready."

While Philippe's 64 from 33 against the Thunder on Wednesday night was brutal, he was more measured against the Scorchers.

He drove over mid-on beautifully and regularly picked the gaps square on both sides of the wicket.

He was eventually bowled by Jhye Richardson, but not before a 106-run stand with Vince (52) that gave the Sixers complete control and all but wrapped up a top-two spot.

"He can go through the gears and then shift back down. He's pretty smart as well, he thinks about the game," Vince said of Philippe.

"You look at their opening batsmen today, (Liam) Livingstone and (Jason) Roy, two very destructive players.

"But they probably don't do things consistently as Flip does. And his strike rate wouldn't be too far behind.

"He's got no limit on how far he can go."

Earlier, Livingstone unleashed the biggest over of the BBL so far this summer as he took 27 off Steve O'Keefe before the Sixers fought back.

The Perth opener smashed six sixes in his 67 from 38 balls, after he was dropped on just one by Daniel Hughes at mid-off from O'Keefe.

The Englishmen immediately dished out the punishment in O'Keefe's next over, hitting three sixes and two more boundaries.

Jackson Bird also copped some treatment, as the Scorchers moved to 1-103 after just 10 overs.

But when Livingstone holed out on the boundary from Jake Ball on the first delivery of the power surge in the 11th over, the game swung dramatically.

Ashton Turner (1) went in the same over as part of a spectacular collapse of 6-46.

The Scorchers hit just five boundaries in the final 10 overs, as Christian took 2-22 and Carlos Brathwaite 2-12.

Australian Associated Press