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Roy takes top catch, Thunder out for 159

AAP logoAAP 20/12/2016 Emma Kemp

Jason Roy of the Sixers celebrates taking he catch to dismiss Ben Rohrer of the Thunder during the Big Bash League match between the Sydney Thunder and the Sydney Sixers at Spotless Stadium. © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Jason Roy of the Sixers celebrates taking he catch to dismiss Ben Rohrer of the Thunder during the Big Bash League match between the Sydney Thunder and the Sydney Sixers at Spotless Stadium. Englishman Jason Roy has put his stamp on the Big Bash League before even picking up a bat, taking a sensational diving catch as the Sydney Sixers restricted the Sydney Thunder to 8-159.

Youngster Ryan Gibson scored a half-century (53 from 43 balls) on debut for the Thunder as the reigning champions got off to a flying start, racing to 1-71 after eight overs on Tuesday night in the absence of injured captain Shane Watson.

But a double-wicket maiden from paceman Joe Mennie, who'd conceded 16 runs in his first over, kick-started a quickfire fightback in the opening match of the competition's sixth season.

And nothing lit up a slightly soggy Spotless Stadium more than Roy's blinder to dismiss Thunder skipper Ben Rohrer.

Rohrer timed a late cut from Mennie nicely but the big-hitting import launched himself sideways at backward point, in a stunning horizontal manoeuvre that will be a contender for a catch of the season.

Some late fireworks from quick Pat Cummins gave the Thunder a major boost, the No.8 adding 30 from 20 deliveries including three sixes.

Jamaican star Andre Russell was caught and bowled for nine off Doug Bollinger, but the powerful allrounder attracted more attention for his controversial black bat which was cleared by Cricket Australia (CA).

"A player can use a coloured bat subject to CA approval. The bat may be the same colour as the club's primary colour or black," a CA spokesman said.

"CA retains the right to withdraw approval at its absolute discretion and the umpires can also request a player to change the bat if they believe it affects the integrity of the match."

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