Sydney, December 24: Jos Buttler was the star of the show as Sydney Thunder beat city rivals Sydney Sixers by 21 runs in the Big Bash League on Monday, despite a fine all-round effort from Tom Curran.
England star Buttler thumped six fours and three maximums on his way to 63 from 37 balls at the top of the order.
The Thunder lost their way somewhat after Buttler's dismissal in the 12th over, stumbling to 169-9 as Curran returned 3-24 from four impressive overs and Steve O'Keefe chipped in with 2-27.
However, the Sixers collapsed alarmingly in reply, Fawad Ahmed's three wickets leaving them in disarray at 56-6 after nine overs.
Curran again did his best to turn things around, compiling 62 off 40 balls and sharing 88 for the seventh wicket with Sean Abbott (35 off 28).
Yet the former was dismissed at the end of the penultimate over with 26 runs still needed and the Sixers ultimately finished well short of their target on 148-9.
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAMS
Buttler and Curran may grab the headlines, but Daniel Sams delivered another excellent performance for the Thunder.
Having made 34 and taken 3-5 in his side's opening match against the Melbourne Stars, the all-rounder again contributed significantly with bat and ball on Monday.
He was the only Thunder batsman to shine after Buttler's exit, smashing 28 from just 11 balls, and then chipped in with another three scalps - including Sixers skipper Moises Henriques.
As a result, Sams can celebrate Christmas as the leading wicket-taker in the BBL.
ABBOTT GOES THE DISTANCE
Abbott's admirable defiance in the Sixers' innings came after he had endured a dismal time of things with the ball.
The seamer had 1-18 after two overs, but he was then clobbered for 19 in his third - Sams doing the bulk of the damage - and finished with the painful figures of 1-48 from four.