David Warner failed to deliver any fireworks, but it mattered little as his Sydney Sixers strolled to a seven-wicket win over the Thunder in Saturday night's Big Bash League Twenty20 derby at the SCG.
Former Thunder captain Warner, who made a cross-city shift to the defending BBL champions during the off-season, was dismissed for a second-ball duck when he chased a wide delivery and was caught behind as the Sixers set their sights on a victory target of 144.
But Brad Haddin came to the crease and clubbed 59 from 48 balls before being bowled by Sean Abbott with the scores tied.
But the wicketkeeper had put on 83 with Steve Smith, who remained 41 not out, to set up the emphatic victory with eight balls to spare.
Moises Henriques struck a boundary off his first delivery to bring up the winning runs - and the Sixers' 12th straight T20 win.
The fixture was played in front of a crowd of just 15,279 - a far cry from the 25,000 that organisers had hoped for during the week.
Cricket Australia can only wonder what star attractions Michael Clarke, denied his one chance to play in the BBL due to a back issue, and Chris Gayle, who was wrapping up his West Indies commitments on their tour of Bangladesh, might have done to that figure.
The Thunder certainly dearly needed their captain and most fluent batsman on the park as they were reduced to 5-143 off their 20 overs.
The western Sydney franchise crashed only four sixes, struggled to rotate the strike regularly and failed to form a partnership of note until No.6 Ryan Carters (33no) and No.7 Sean Abbott (24no) put on an unbeaten 55-run stand off 28 balls.
Paceman Luke Feldman was the best of the Sixers' bowlers with figures of 2-19, but Mitchell Starc (2-27) sent a timely reminder to Australia's national selectors.
Fresh from snaring eight wickets in the WACA Test, left-armer Starc swung the ball with venom to snare the scalps of Usman Khawaja (19) and Cameron Borgas (11).
The 22-year-old, who is set to battle it out with Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus for two positions in the Australian side for next week's first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart, reduced the Thunder to 4-77 when he rattled the stumps of Borgas.
Who's the best test cricket captain?