Moises Henriques showed the value of being an all-rounder in the T20 format, scoring a blistering 49 off 23 balls, before picking up three wickets to snuff out any chance of the Chennai Super Kings - the former Champions League champs - pulling off a victory.
Sydney scored 185 in their innings, with CSK falling 14 runs short of their opponents' total.
The Sydney Sixers, champions of the Big Bash - the Australian equivalent to the IPL - made a good start to life in the Champions League as Michael Lumb and the excellent Shane Watson got them off to a solid start.
The exact 50-run opening partnership ended in the seventh over - Lumb trapped leg before off Ravindra Jadeja's first delivery. Watson, however, had picked up from where he left off for Australia in the World T20, scoring boundaries at will. The all-rounder looked on course for another big innings, but fell four runs short of a half-century, running himself out for a 30-ball 46.
Sydney stumbled in the middle part of the innings, and looked like they would get 160 at best - but Henriques had other ideas. The Australian all-rounder played an absolute gem of an innings - Henriques (40 from 22) was the catalyst to the Sixers scoring a massive 61 runs in the final four overs to get them to a brilliant total of 185 for five.
In reply, CSK stumbled, stuttered and struggled and but for Faf Du Plessis and Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni's team would have fallen to an embarrassing defeat.
Murali Vijay was the first to go -- a full-length Yorker on middle stump from Mitchell Starc proving too much for the opening batsman.
Michael Hussey tried to get his eye on before going for the big shots, but unfortunately for the Super Kings the first big shot that he attempted went straight down the throat to Lumb, with Steve O'Keefe gleefully accepting the wicket.
Du Plessis (43 in 25), on the other end, was playing a brilliant innings, an extra-cover drive in particular, worth the price of the ticket for the sizeable crowd at the Wanderers. Du Plessis, unfortunately, played one extravagant shot too many, and the onus fell on Suresh Raina - not exactly the man to bank on the bouncy South African pitches. But, the Indian left-hander came to the party brilliantly, scoring one boundary after another, and more importantly keeping his head in a stiff chase.
However, with the run rate climbing up in every over, Raina just had too much to do on his own, eventually falling for a 33-ball 57 with CSK on 141 for five from 16.3 overs. Now, MS Dhoni is usually the go-to man for these things - arguably the best limited overs finisher in the game today. But the CSK and India captain had an off day, and once he got out, the game was over bar the shouting.
CSK eventually finished on 171 for nine, 14 runs short of their target, as Sydney celebrated a deserved victory.