BATHURST'S Lisa Griffith and her Sydney Sixers side have come out on top in one of the most thrilling derby clashes of Women's Big Bash League history, surviving a big fightback from Orange's Phoebe Litchfield to beat the Sydney Thunder on Wednesday night.
Sixers held on to win by four runs, with Litchfield leading the Thunder's pursuit of 147 with a determined 46 runs, clobbering the women in pink around the park in an entertaining knock featuring several switch-hit boundaries.
Litchfield had an opportunity to send the game to a super over on the last ball of the chase but a beautiful slow ball from player of the match Erin Burns (3-28) allowed the Sixers to hold on for victory.
Griffith's five runs from three balls at the end of the Sixers innings may not have felt like much at the time but it ended up being a critical contribution.
Griffith - playing her first Sydney Smash in pink after switching across from the Thunder lime green - said Litchfield's innings was something to behold.
"It was a fantastic game. Credit to Phoebe. She just batted the house down and she really took Thunder from a position where they weren't going to win the game and took them right back to a position where they could," she said.
"We hadn't been playing our best cricket before this game and we went into that game knowing we needed to bring some energy and fight. The Sydney derby is a big game and usually competitive and we knew the Thunder would be at their best.
"To get across the line like the way we did was fantastic."
The first Sydney Smash of the WBBL season was washed out but the two teams made up for that with a quality clash.
Great top order contributions from Alyssa Healy (44), Ellyse Perry (28) and Dane van Niekerk (45) helped the Sixers post a strong score.
Sixers managed to limit the damage of the Thunder top order but captain Rachael Haynes (27) and Litchfield helped thrust their side back into the game.
At 6-109 the Thunder looked in trouble but Litchfield continued to find the boundary to keep the winning prospects alive.
But Burns - who also finished with four catches along with her three wickets - saved the Sixers.
"When you've got a few balls to face you've got to make of them what you can. We still had wickets in the shed so we were going to be pushing over those last few overs," Griffith said of her brief appearance at the crease.
"Credit goes to the Thunder because they bowled really well at the death."
The win was a much needed bounce back for the Sixers after they were bested by the Brisbane Heat in the previous day's game.
The next match for the Sixers will be at North Sydney Oval this Saturday night against the Melbourne Renegades, then a meeting with the Melbourne Stars on Sunday.