Cricket: Much-hyped Sydney Big Bash derby delivers drama, as test stars David Warner, Steve Smith drop in

Australian test stars David Warner and Steve Smith have provided appropriate box office intrigue to the much-hyped 'Sydney Smash' Big Bash derby at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The two culprits behind Aussie cricket's darkest hour - the infamous 'Sandpapergate' bal-tampering episode - have seemingly been forgiven for their sins, as they helped restore their country to the top of the world rankings over the past 12 months.

Fresh from his test retirement, Warner was committed to appear for the Sydney Thunder, but was forced to make a dramatic entrance by helicopter, after attending his brother's wedding in the Hunter Valley earlier in the day.

David Warner arrives by helicopter, Steve Smith departs first ball.
David Warner arrives by helicopter, Steve Smith departs first ball. Photo credit: Sky Sport/Getty Images

Promoted to replace Warner as the test opener, Smith strode out to face the first ball for Sydney Sixers, wth Warner in his ear all the way to the crease.

"He and Novak Djokovic are mates now, so we may see a bit of topspin," Warner told commentators. "He loves a little slice over third man, so I reckon we might put someone in that region for him.

"Nothing's distracting him, nothing ever distracts him.... but he's got a mark on his foot there, so he might be fidgety about that.

"That's not centre... a little bit to the right," he teased, as Smith took guard. "If you open the batting, you've got to mark it properly.

"No, he's locked in."

Maybe not so much.

Smith wafted the first ball from bowler Daniels Sams high to square leg, where Nathan McAndrew was safe underneath for the golden duck.

Smith would have the last laugh, as his teammates rallied to score 151/7, then dismissed the Thunder for 132 off the penultimate ball of their 20 overs, with Warner's 37 runs off 39 balls failing to inspire victory.

The result leaves Sydney Sixer second on the Big Bash ladder with five wins from nine games and all but eliminates the Thunder from contention.