Big Bash League Final: Khawaza Powers Sydney Thunder
Sydney Thunder beat Melbourne Stars by three wickets to win their first Big Bash League title, despite Kevin Pietersen's innings of 74.
The ex-England batsman hit five sixes and four fours in his 39-ball 74 as the Stars posted 176-9 from their 20 overs. Usman Khawaja then hit 70 off 40 balls in reply as Thunder cruised to 91-1 at the halfway point.And despite a late flurry of wickets, Ben Rohrer's six secured victory for Thunder with three balls to spare.
The win completes a remarkable turnaround for the New South Wales franchise, who had finished bottom in three of the previous four editions of the Big Bash, with only five wins from 31 matches in that time.
Ex-Australia batsman Mike Hussey, 40, made 18 for Thunder in his final innings in Australia - captaining opposite his brother David, the Stars skipper.
Pietersen's innings ensured he finished the tournament as the third highest run-scorer, with 323 runs at an average of 40.37 and a strike rate of 159.11, but he seems almost certain to remain in international exile when England go to the World Twenty20 in India in March.