“Runs on the board is always crucial when you bat first. We got a really nice total there and got some early wickets,” Philippe said.

“Even the other night when we didn’t get over the line we had some positive signs … hopefully, we can continue this on.”

Josh Philippe fell just five runs short of the Sixers' first-ever century in their record-breaking BBL win over the Melbourne Renegades.

Josh Philippe fell just five runs short of the Sixers’ first-ever century in their record-breaking BBL win over the Melbourne Renegades.Credit:Getty

The Sixers’ innings got off to a less than ideal start with Jack Edwards dismissed for just 1, thanks to another stunning bowling effort from Renegades rookie Peter Hatzoglou.

James Vince was then dismissed for 17 before a much-needed partnership between Philippe and Daniel Hughes kicked into gear.

Before being sent back to the sheds for 32, Daniel Hughes first starred in the supporting role for Philippe who surprisingly started off shakily at the crease.

But with Jordan Silk joining him in the middle, Philippe took off and came agonisingly close to the Sixers’ first-ever century with 95 off 57 balls.

“I play my best when I hang in there and get through the tough stages at the start and I tend to find I score a lot quicker at the back end,” Philippe said. “I try to set myself up to bat the whole innings and it was nice to spend some time out in the middle.”

Silk also helped by making an impression during the power surge with five boundaries in a single over, forcing Melbourne to chase 206.

After the water break, the Sixers were determined to stay in control of the game and finished the first three overs with 3/17.

Silk showed off his fielding skills once again, backing up his viral boundary save with a stunning catch to send Benny Howell to the sheds for a duck.

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After the huge wicket of Shaun Marsh, the dominoes continued to fall with the Renegades falling to an embarrassing 9-43.

But an almost-century by Philippe and the massive margin unable to distract fans enough to ignore the lack of spectators.

With the competition battling declining interest in recent years, Sunday’s two matches – which began with an 11-run win for the Hobart Hurricanes over the Adelaide Strikers – attracted a combined crowd of just 4000.

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