‘No respect’: Smith burns best mate
Steve Smith is only too happy to claim bragging rights over good mate Marnus Labuschagne following his first Big Bash League appearance in six years.
The Sydney Sixers moved into the crucial second position on the ladder with an eight-wicket win over the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Thursday night.
Brisbane's dismal batting form continued as the hosts limped to 8/126 off their 20 overs.
Openers James Vince (51 off 37) and Josh Philippe (52 not out off 43) both made half- centuries as the Sixers easily chased down the target of 127 with 25 balls to spare.
Both Smith and Labuschagne were making their first BBL appearances after sharing a summer-long bromance with Australia at Test and ODI level. So it was Smith of course who took the catch when Labuschagne (three) mis-timed a pull shot off English quick Tom Curran (2/25).
"It had to be Steve Smith, didn't it," Michael Vaughan joked in commentary for Fox Cricket. "It was always going to be."
With the bat, Smith then smoked the first delivery he faced from Labuschagne for four during a brief innings of nine.
Fox Cricket commentator Mark Waugh said: "No respect there from Steve Smith, it looked like a decent delivery actually."
Speaking about the personal duel, Smith told AAP: "Nice to catch him. Nice to hit him for a four first ball as well.
"I guess I got the bragging rights over him tonight which is nice."
The win secures Sydney's spot in the top three but it's still a chance of finishing in the top two and potentially hosting the final.
A win over the last-placed Renegades at the SCG on Saturday could secure the second-chance for the Sixers.
"We've got Josh Hazlewood coming back on Saturday, I think we've got a really good mix of players," Smith said.
"Youth. Experience. Power-hitters. Blokes with some smarts. Good spinners. Some good quicks.
"A really good balance and hopefully we can put in another good performance like tonight on Saturday and keep going towards the finals."
After losing 10 wickets for 38 runs in Sunday's horror collapse against the Melbourne Renegades, the Heat were quickly in trouble again after Sixers' captain Moises Henriques sent them in.
Midway through its innings, Brisbane was 5/57.
Only some late hitting by tailender James Pattinson (27 not out off 15 balls) lifted the hosts' score past 100.
The loss means the sixth-placed Heat need to win at least one of their last two matches away to the Melbourne Stars and Renegades to have any hope of sneaking into the finals.
"It's another disappointing game," Pattinson said.
"We've made it really hard for us now to try and make finals."