In a tense final period, Harry Conway (1-34) leaked some runs before taking the important wicket of hard-hitting all-rounder Tom Curran (21 from 20 balls), which brought Hazlewood to the crease with the Sixers needing 12 runs from as many deliveries.
The Australian quick, in his final BBL match before he departs for India with the national one-day team, hit three boundaries from as many balls – the match-winner a beautiful cover drive for four – to get the Sixers over the line with eight balls to spare.
It was Hazlewood’s highest score from six knocks in 32 domestic T20 matches and prompted Test captain Tim Paine to tweet: “Since when did Micheal [sic] Bevan play for the @SixersBBL #Thefinisher”.
The victory was the Sixers’ fifth on the trot and put them outright top of the ladder before the Melbourne Stars’ clash with the Sydney Thunder later on Wednesday evening.
The Sixers’ chase should have been a walk in the park after the Strikers suffered a horrible collapse of 7-25 in the space of six overs to end their innings prematurely.
Aside from Jake Weatherald (47 from 31 balls), who decided to bat without a helmet or hat at one point so he could show off his new peroxide blond hair, and captain Alex Carey (32 from 30 balls), no Strikers batsman made more than 12 runs in a disappointing display that put the Sixers in the box seat.
While Khan is known more for his bowling, his wild slog second ball that went straight up in the air summed up the Strikers’ lack of game smarts as the game drifted away from them.
Curran used subtle changes of pace to good effect and got the rewards, taking his best Big Bash figures of 4-22 from 3.4 overs.
Hazlewood was tidy with 0-19 from four overs, while Ben Dwarshuis (2-20) and Lloyd Pope (2-33) took a couple of wickets apiece to restrict the Strikers in front of a home crowd baking in the afternoon sun.
Having just lost 3-4, Carey’s dismissal, caught at mid-off, with 3.3 overs remaining, was questionable to say the least.
The Sixers have a four-day break before tackling the Stars at the MCG.
Tom Decent is a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald