Maddinson's Sixers chase Big Bash riches

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It's dubbed a game of "hits and giggles" by some, but tonight's Big Bash League (BBL) semi-finals showdown will have far more than a few laughs at stake.

The Sydney Sixers host Perth Scorchers at the SCG in a battle for a berth in the BBL final with an $802,000 place in the T20 Champions League at stake.

The Sixers would pocket $229,000 just for reaching the tournament in South Africa this year while Cricket NSW would collect a $573,000 participation fee.

With Brad Haddin, Steve Smith, Moises Henriques and Nathan Lyon in South Africa with the Test squad, the Sixers will fight for a place at the tournament without many of their biggest names.

Despite their depleted roster, Shoalhaven product Nic Maddinson believes the return of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood from international T20 duty and the experience of veteran paceman Brett Lee could give the Sixers an edge.

"It's good to have Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood back who've been playing well for Australia," Maddinson said.

"I think with Brett Lee there, with his experience and 'death' bowling, it's a massive plus for us against the Scorchers who have a strong top order.

"With that calibre of bowling attack, our plan will probably be to come out and try and attack their top order, get into the middle order and hopefully slow them down throughout the middle of the innings."

The Sixers went down to the Scorchers in a super-over thriller at the SCG last month as skipper Simon Katich rescued a stuttering Perth innings with 71 from 56 balls.

Maddinson believes his side will be in the box seat if they can claim the veteran's wicket early.

"I think they rely a lot on Simon Katich at the top of the order to control their innings," he said.

"When they do get in a bit of trouble, he's the one to bat through and go again at the end of the innings.

"When we played them last time, we got a few early wickets but he was still in there to develop a few a partnerships so his experience at the top of their order is a massive thing for them."

Maddinson struggled to capitalise on promising starts after opening the BBL with 61 against Sydney Thunder but returned to form with 59 not out in the Sixers' final round match with their cross-town rivals last weekend. He hopes to continue his good form tonight.

"I've been around the Sixers for three years now so I felt I had to take on a bit more of a responsibility at the top of the order," he said.

"In this format when you're trying to go hard at the top of the order it's quite easy to come unstuck if you're not giving yourself every chance to get in.

"I guess that's what I've learned from this Big Bash but I feel I've been batting pretty well."

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