Josh Hazlewood returns from injury as Sydney Sixers defeat Adelaide Strikers in Coffs Harbour

Key men: Sixers stars Josh Philippe and Josh Hazlewood celebrate a wicket in their win over Adelaide in Coffs Harbour on Sunday night. Photo: AAP/Cricket Australia
Key men: Sixers stars Josh Philippe and Josh Hazlewood celebrate a wicket in their win over Adelaide in Coffs Harbour on Sunday night. Photo: AAP/Cricket Australia

IT was the added bonus the 9384 fans wouldn't have originally bargained for when they made plans to pack into C.ex Coffs International Stadium on Sunday night.

Josh Hazlewood's first appearance for the Sydney Sixers in six seasons doubled as his return from a hamstring injury on a history-making evening on the Mid-North Coast.

It was the first time a Big Bash League fixture had been held in Coffs Harbour.

The capacity crowd were then treated to a Josh Philippe batting masterclass as the Sixers chased down Adelaide's 6-176 with three balls remaining.

"Coming from a regional area myself it's always great to come back to these areas and see the kids," Hazlewood said.

"They don't get to see us play very often, so it's awesome they came down and we had a packed house."

Hazlewood finished with match figures of 1-18 off four overs despite his first over going for 10.

"It's not a bad return," he said.

"It's a fast-paced game and took a little bit to get used to.

"(I was a) little bit rusty in the first couple of overs and there's quite a lot of thinking. Each ball has its own sort of storyline.

"You've got to think on your feet a bit and sense what the batters are going to do which keeps you switched on which is great."

The eight runs scored from his remaining three overs ultimately proved the difference on a night where 338 runs were scored off the other 36.

Philippe's unbeaten knock of 83 from 52 balls then ensured the BBL|08 semi-finalists consolidated their spot in the top two and kept the pressure on Melbourne Stars at the top of the ladder.

Cricket NSW Northern NSW area manager Martin Garoni said the 28-year-old Australian test match opening bowler was then one of the final players to leave the venue.

"Hoff stood out there for about an hour and a half signing autographs and taking photos with every kid; he made sure no-one went home disappointed," he said.

"I was about ready to turn the lights out on him.

"It's probably the best advertisement for the kids and the girls to experience what it's all about."

Philippe also paid credit to the fans who turned out in force as the Sixers hosted their first-ever match outside the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"It's really cool to come to a place like this and see all the people that support us," he told Channel 7.

"It's really nice to give back and support them back as well. A packed out ground is always good no matter how big it is."

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