It was a game between two sides which were build around allrounders. In the end, Brisbane Heat’s allrounders did a little more than their Sydney Sixers’ counterpart to lift the team off the seventh position in the points table. Moreover, they would take great confidence that they defeated a side like the Sixers, placed second on the points table after a four-match winning streak, with as many as seven balls to spare.
It appeared to be another batting botch up from the Heat for a while as they went through a shaky start. Joe Burns could not find any respite form his poor batting form in the Heat’s jersey - out for 1 in the third over of the innings. Max Bryant batted well for 40 but failed to convert another start into anything substantial. The wickets tumbled. The Sixers’ spinners -Steve O’Keefe and Ben Manenti - conceded only 34 runs in their five during the middle-phase of the run chase. Consequently, the run-rate touched 10.5 an over with six overs left.
However, the batting depth, which was taking Heat close to the targets despite poor starts in previous games, took them over the line on this occasion. Lewis Gregory, their international import from England was at helm of things alongside the youngster Jack Wildermuth. The duo forged an unbeaten 50-run stand from only 19 balls. When they came together, the required run-rate was 10.2.
The subsequent two overs were bowled by the Sixers’ allrounders, Carlos Brathwaite and Daniel Christian, and conceded 23 runs. Ben Dwarshuis, bowling the 19th, was thrashed for a six and a boundary by Gregory and Wildermuth finished the job with a six on the penultimate ball of the over.
This was also a period when the Sixers looked a shoddy in the field. Christian let a ball slip through his hands at the boundary rope. James Vince and skipper Daniel Hughes were slow in the deep to concede an extra run. Also, there were no attempted yorkers during this phase.
Sydney Sixers’ innings was not much different from the Heat’s, except the late flourish. They had a decent start - none for 30 in the mandatory four-over Powerplay - before Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed Jack Edwards on the first delivery of the fifth over.
James Vince and Josh Philippe, however, carried the Sixers forward with conviction. Philippe, in particular, was keen to turn on the heat on the opposition bowlers from the word go. He went after any delivery which was slightly off the radar from the very first over and survived some mistimed strokes which had enough power to sail over the in-field. With Vince, he added 49 runs for the second wicket from only 27 balls.
As usual, Vince seemed to be pristine touch. He struck Mujeeb for an effortless six over the mid-wicket boundary but as it has been the trend so far, he failed to fulfill the potential, falling to Gregory in the ninth over for 20.
It led to a continuous fall of wickets. Daniel Hughes was out in the next over, for 2, watching his opposite number, Jimmy Peirson take a superb catch behind the stumps. Philippe scored 48 off 36 balls before falling to Xavier Bartlett in the 13th over. With the set batsman out, Peirson brought Mujeeb back for his second spell and the decision paid rich dividends in the form of Christian’s departure.
Despite losing wickets, the Sixers went for the Power Surge in the next over and lost Brathwaite for a duck in search of quick runs. Overall, the Sixers lost five wickets in six overs. While it was a collective bowling effort, Mark Steketee made constant inroads, taking four for 33.
Jordan Silk was batting like a breath of fresh air during this nosediving. Scoring 43 off 26 balls at the 18th over mark, he was Sixers’ only hope of an imposing total. Those wings were also cut off by Steketee who dismissed Silk and Manenti off consecutive deliveries to begin the 19th over. In addition, he allowed only 3 runs in the over. A six from Dwarshuis coupled with some good running elevated the Sixers to put 165 on the board.
The Heat were also spoilt for a number of bowling options today. They had as many as seven bowling options, including the solo over bowled by Matthew Kuhnemann before being subbed out in favor of Sam Heazlett. Such was their bowling depth that Wildermuth, having given only 10 runs in three overs, was not even brought for the fourth over of his quota.