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Watson tees off in record knock

Former Australia allrounder clears the rope 16 times as part of astonishing Gatorade Top Performance

Sydney Thunder captain Shane Watson has blasted his way into form ahead of the KFC BBL, hammering a record 16 sixes in Sydney Premier Cricket on Sunday.

Watson cleared the rope 16 times in scoring 114 not out from just 53 balls for Sutherland against Mosman, his innings only coming to an end when his side reached their victory target of 151 in the 16th over.

It's the most sixes Watson has ever hit in a single innings, beating his Australian ODI record of 15, which he hit against Bangladesh in 2011. 

The powerful right-hander opened the batting and hit just one four to go with his 16 maximums to help Sutherland into the final of the Kingsgrove Sports Twenty20 Cup.

Incredibly, the single four Watson hit came from the very first delivery he faced. He then played out six dot balls before launching his assault, hitting 110 from his next 46 deliveries, clearing the rope every third ball he faced.

Watson dominated Sutherland's run chase

It's the highest score by any Sutherland player in T20 cricket, beating the 85no scored by current Aussie skipper Steve Smith in 2008-09.

The innings was a welcome return to form for the former Australia skipper, who was recently ruled out of this year's Bangladesh Premier League due to a hamstring injury.

Scorecard: All the details from Watson's record knock

Watson has played seven club games for Sutherland this summer either side of his injury lay-off, including an innings of 184 in late September.

Speaking last week, the 36-year-old said he has relished the chance to get back to his Premier Cricket roots.

"Most importantly, it's been a lot of fun to be able to get back to where it all started for me, playing grade cricket," he told cricket.com.au.

Watson is in good touch ahead of the BBL season // Getty
Watson is in good touch ahead of the BBL season // Getty

"It's special to be able to have my family around who I can actually connect with during a game. With all the rules and regulations around (and) the different areas that are sterile (in professional cricket), you can't really enjoy every aspect of what it was growing up.

"I'm definitely more well prepared than what I was last year. I've had plenty of time to be able to make sure that (my hamstring) is right."

The Thunder, BBL champions two seasons ago, have had a productive off-season after they finished last in BBL|06.

While West Indian duo Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite as well as England pair Eoin Morgan and James Vince won't return in green this season, the Thunder have shrewdly picked up star Kiwi quick Mitchell McClenaghan, powerful English keeper-batsman Jos Buttler and South Australian Callum Ferguson.

Watson returns to form with damaging half-century

In other Sydney club action over the weekend, Sixers duo Jordan Silk (62 from 45 balls) and Englishman Sam Billings (29 from 23) found touch in Penrith's T20 win over Parramatta.

Playing for Fairfield-Liverpool, Gurinder Sandhu took 3-29 from his 10 overs – including the wicket of Thunder teammate Aiden Blizzard for 27 – in a 50-over clash against fellow Thunder quick Clint McKay's Western Suburbs, the Victorian right-armer taking 1-40 from his 10 as Wests held on to win by 14 runs.

The Thunder will open the BBL season with a clash against crosstown rivals the Sixers at Spotless Stadium on December 19.

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