The match in a tweet: Henriques, Silk ice cool under pressure as Sixers overcome Lynn’s heroics on the Gold Coast #BBL|08
The score: Brisbane Heat 7-164 (Lynn 84, Bryant 34; Curran 3-25) lost to Sydney Sixers 5-165 (Henriques 57, Silk 46; Lalor 2-32) by five wickets with three balls remaining
The hero: Sydney Sixers captain Moises Henriques was the star of the run chase, showcasing his class with a superb knock of 57 from 37 balls, including five boundaries and two sixes to lead his team to a vital KFC BBL victory over Brisbane Heat at Metricon Stadium. Henriques brought up his half-century in style by depositing James Pattinson’s last delivery of the 15th over for a maximum. After scores of 2,15, 9 and 20 to start the tournament, the skilful right-hander gave fans a reminder of his ability with a fine knock which featured shots all over the wicket. He steered his team to a win against the odds after Chris Lynn’s heroics (more on that below) put the Heat in a strong position. The Sixers are now on the right side of the ledger at 3-2.
The supporting cast: The Sixers’ Mr Consistency Jordan Silk was again ice cool under pressure, finding the gaps at crucial moments after his team needed 33 to win from the final three overs of the match. While he departed with six balls remaining, his 46 from 25 balls proved decisive, backing up other superb hands of 67no, 41no and 30 for the dependable Sixers’ right-hander this tournament. He is as reliable as a Swiss Watch at No.5. Englishman Tom Curran also sits in second spot on the leading wicket-takers list after collecting his third three-wicket haul from four matches this summer. The right-arm paceman has shown his aptitude with bat and ball this season and returned 3-25 from four overs to be the standout bowler for the Sixers amid an onslaught from Lynn. He now has nine wickets at 12.55 apiece to go with an economy rate of 6.64.
The consolation act: Heat skipper Lynn delivered the imperious display fans have been craving, smacking 84 from 55 balls in a performance full of fireworks in the New Year’s Day fixture. Lynn cleared the fence five times to reach his first half-century of BBL|08 after starting the tournament with scores of 33 and 29. Lynn batted most of the innings after arriving at the crease in the third over and departing in the final over as he was trapped lbw by Curran. He had a slice of luck and was dropped twice, but Lynn now has 1706 runs from 52 BBL matches at an impressive average of 41.60, including 13 half-centuries and one ton, while his strike rate of 155.37 explains why he is feared by opposition sides.
The run out: With the Sixers cruising at 1-77 in the 11th over of the run chase, debutant Justin Avendano got a thick edge to Ben Cutting at short third man. The batsmen took a single, but Avendano, seemingly oblivious to the threat of being run out, cruised to the non-striker’s end as a direct hit from Cutting caught him short. Avendano looked assured in compiling 30 from 24 balls, but it was a moment he would rather forget.
The new Bash Brother?: Heat young gun Max Bryant would have been frustrated to again lose his wicket after a promising start, but the hard-hitting right-hander has shown plenty in BBL|08. He helped himself to 34 from 18 balls today, smacking five boundaries and two sixes before he was dismissed by Curran. Bryant hit three fours and a six off the second over of the match, bowled by the in-form Steve O’Keefe, prompting chatter in the commentary box about whether he deserved ascension to ‘Bash Brother’ status. He has also returned scores of 22 and 30 in the opening position this tournament.
The slump: Former Heat skipper Brendon McCullum’s lean run continued, with the aggressive right-hander yet to reach double figures in three innings this tournament. McCullum dropped down the order and batted at No.4 at Metricon Stadium, but it did not result in improved fortunes for the New Zealander as he was caught by Steve O’Keefe at backward point off the bowling of Sean Abbott.
The stat: Lynn snapped a run of 21 T20 matches without a fifty across all competitions and went past Aaron Finch into second spot on the all-time BBL run-scorers’ list. Michael Klinger holds the No.1 position, currently 134 runs clear of Lynn.
The next stops: The Sixers will next take on Hobart Hurricanes on Friday at Blundstone Arena, while the Heat will meet Perth Scorchers at Perth Stadium on Saturday.