Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja scored 70 in the final against Melbourne Stars Getty

A six from Ben Rohrer down the ground off the third ball of the final over was the winning shot that saw Sydney Thunder seal their first Big Bash League by defeating Melbourne Stars in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Both teams made it to final for the first time.

Michael Hussey was managing the Sydney-based outfit, while his younger brother David was leading the Stars in the final on their mother's birthday. The clash was Michael's final professional cricket appearance on Australian soil as well.

Sydney Thunder won the toss and elected to bowl first on 24 January. They made two changes to their side. Jacques Kallis replaced Nathan McAndrew, while Aiden Blizzard was brought in the place of Henry Nicholls. The Stars had the same lineup that defeated Perth Scorchers in the second semi-final.

Things went as per plans for Sydney as they managed to get Marcus Stoinis out early in the game. Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen made sure the score board kept ticking for Melbourne as they put on a 44-run partnership for the second wicket.

Shane Watson, who picked up Stoinis' wicket was the man to dismiss Wright, with a bit of luck. Pietersen kept going at the Thunder bowlers, while wickets kept falling at regular intervals at the other end. The Englishman was finally dismissed on 74 off 39 balls, which was vital for them to post a total of 176 runs for the loss of nine wickets.

For Sydney Thunder, it was star batsman Usman Khawaja and Kallis who gave them a fantastic start and put on an opening wicket partnership of 86 runs. The South African made 28 off 27 runs in the process. Watson failed to fire with the bat as he was dismissed cheaply.

Khawaja was the star throughout the knockout stage of the tournament and scored four consecutive 50s. Michael Hussey, Andre Russel and Blizzard chipped in the latter stages of the match, which saw them cross the line in the end. Khawaja's 70 runs saw him earn the man of the match in the final.