Flexibility the key to Philippe's stellar run
Josh Philippe fell one run short of becoming the first Sydney Sixers batter to score a century in the BBL but his captain Moises Henriques says it's his adaptability that makes him so dangerous
16 December 2021, 10:36 AM AEST
"Pretty special" is the words Sydney Sixers captain Moises Henriques used to described Josh Philippe after he led their side to a famous KFC BBL victory at the MCG last night.
Phillipe, who is perhaps in the purplest patch of his short career, fell agonisingly close to becoming the first Sixers batter to score a BBL century as his 99 not out delivered Sydney the win over the Melbourne Stars with two balls to spare.
In the process, the 24-year-old (259 runs) overtook Henriques (204 runs) as the leading scorer in this summer's competition to claim the Golden Bat Cap.
It was Philippe's third half century of the season as he looks on track to eclipse his around 500-run tournaments during the two previous campaigns.
On top of that he's already scored 687 runs at 52.8 in his 15 innings for Western Australia in the Marsh Sheffield Shield and Marsh One-Day Cup, which probably makes him the most in-form batter in the country right now.
Henriques said it was his younger teammate's ability to react to the ball that made him so special to watch.
"There's always a little bit of premeditation in terms of what position he gets in and he targets a couple of areas on the field, but he never fully commits to a particular area," the Sixers captain said on Fox Cricket after the win over the Stars.
"He's still watching the ball, (is) balanced and still enough that if he doesn't get the ball he wants, he can react and still hit it somewhere else.
"A lot of guys tend to premeditate and completely commit to just one area of the field, where he gets himself into really nice positions to then adjust to a ball that he wasn't expecting or something that didn't quite go to plan.
"He's been batting well in all three formats this season but he's really special to watch and we're a pretty lucky team to have him."
Philippe said he definitely had a few shots in mind before the bowler delivers the ball but the most important thing was watching it close.
"It's almost like you're pre-loading with ideas and then you see it and play the best option to the ball," the young right-hander said.
"It felt like it wasn't the most fluent innings (last night), there were certainly times where I felt they were bowling well and it was hard to hit boundaries.
"I was very well supported by the boys coming in because they always hit a few boundaries when they first came out there and seemed to continue to take the pressure off and we kept ticking along it at the correct rate so there wasn't too much too much panic at all."
It's was Philippe's second score in the 90s in the BBL and he said the elusive century was still a drought the Sixers batters will have to "keep chasing".
Sydney Sixers chasing elusive century
Josh Philippe – 99* v Melbourne Stars BBL|11
James Vince – 98* v Perth Scorchers BBL|10
Daniel Hughes – 96 v Melbourne Stars BBL|10
Josh Philippe – 95 v Melbourne Renegades BBL|10
James Vince – 95 v Perth Scorchers BBL|10
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