SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 17: Shane Watson of the Thunder shakes hands with Doug Bollinger of the Sixers at the conclusion of the Big Bash League match between the Sydney Thunder and the Sydney Sixers at Spotless Stadium on December 17, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

It took eight attempts, but the Sydney Thunder have finally broken their duck against cross-city rivals the Sydney Sixers.

In front of 18,287 fans at Spotless Stadium for the opening match of the Big Bash League — the Sydney Smash — the home side won by 36 runs after bowling the Sixers out for 122.

The damage was done early on by captain Mike Hussey, who hit a half century, and the job was finished off by Thunder debutants Shane Watson and Andre Russell with three wickets a piece.

In the end it was a commanding performance from the whipping boys of seasons past, but that tag isn’t likely to stick this campaign.

Hussey, the 40-year-old version, smashed an unbeaten 80 off 59 balls to steer the Thunder to their total of 4-158, before the Sixes were bowled all out for 122.