A HORROR weekend for Sydney's Big Bash franchises was completed when the Sixers botched their chance to host a home semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The Sixers simply needed to score 108 runs against the Melbourne Stars, featuring Nowra’s Nic Maddinson, under sunny blue skies at the MCG, but could only muster an embarrassing 74 runs.
It was their lowest score in the eight years of the Big Bash and fourth-worst overall tally in the competition's history.
Opener Daniel Hughes was the top-scorer with 12 runs.
Bleak City never looked so bleak.
The 94-run spanking dumped the Sixers to third on the BBL ladder behind the Melbourne Renegades, who they will now face on Friday night at Marvel Stadium – 875km away from the hallowed turf of the SCG.
To make matters worse, they will need to push on to the pointy end of the Twenty20 tournament without arguably their best player, Tom Curran, who flew out for the Caribbean on Sunday night to link with England's one-day team.
Skipper Moises Henriques tried to find the positives and pointed out the last time they were on the end of a similar hiding, they turned it around and won four on the trot.
"Hopefully this time we only need to win two on the trot,'' Henriques said.
"I felt we weren't as sharp as we've been in the field, and whether it was ground balls, or catches, slight chances, 50/50 chances, it was probably our worst fielding performance of the tournament.
"We were still in the game for the first 15 overs. We either bowled really well or they batted poorly.
"'Maxy' [Glenn Maxwell] got them to a decent total and I think even in the last the five overs, our bowlers have been so good at the death, and I can't remember the last time we went for more than 45 runs off last the last five overs. It well and truly blew out and we went for about 70 tonight.
"I'm just happy we got this game out of the way tonight and not next Friday.''
Henriques said it would have been nice to return to the SCG in front of the loyal fans where the Sixers won their last three.
The Renegades beat the Sixers at the SCG while the Sixers returned the favour down south.
Henriques said the moment their focus shifted from winning the match to just scoring the required total for a home final was their undoing.
The Stars will travel to Hobart for the first semi-final on Thursday night.
While the Sixers will be filthy with their effort, the Sydney Thunder players were still dirty about being robbed of their own finals berth because of the dodgy Gabba blackout last month.
The Thunder defeated the Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday night at a packed Manuka Oval, but they fell just short on the ladder, and largely because of the one point they had to share with Brisbane when the lights went down mid-tournament.
While they had plenty of other chances throughout the summer, there was no denying the Gabba debacle halted the Thunder's momentum.
The Sixers had no answers for Maxwell who was absolutely brilliant, smashing a sensational 65 runs off the final four overs to accelerate the Stars' innings to 6/168.
Maxwell was dawdling by his own lofty standards when he reached 17 runs off 20 balls, but then hit the nitro button and finished with a brilliant 82 off 43 balls.
He started the final over with a monster six over long-on, then smashed Ben Dwarshuis again straight down the ground.
The bearded bomber brought up the 50-run partnership with Seb Gotch off just 18 balls with the latter proudly adding the one run from the one ball he faced.
One of the best white-ball players on the planet, Maxwell brought the crowd to life and they gave him a standing ovation as he was caught on the final delivery to end a truly memorable knock.