Disappointed .... Brisbane Heat captain Brendon McCullum
Disappointed .... Brisbane Heat captain Brendon McCullum DAVE HUNT

Heat on the wrong end of Super finish to BBL semi

CRICKET: The Brisbane Heat's Gabba curse struck in the cruellest possible way when they lost one of Big Bash's greatest finals.

The Heat lost a classic semi-final in a Super Over finish against the Sydney Sixers and their season is over.

The Sixers will play the Scorchers in Saturday night's final and the Heat will finish a season of extraordinary crowd support feeling they gave great value for money without sealing the deal.

The loss was their fourth Gabba loss this season - giving them and 8-17 record at home in the competition's history - while they remained undefeated this season on the road.

It was an incredible match.

Joe Burns and Ben Cutting talk tactics.
Joe Burns and Ben Cutting talk tactics. DAVID CROSLING

A relatively subdued start to the game was followed by a thunderclap finish for the ages.

After scores were tied on 167 after 20 overs Sydney batted first in the Super Over and Moises Henriques spanked Brisbane everywhere for the second time in the night as the Sixers made 22 off Ben Cutting's over with Henriques 19 not out and Colin Munro failing to score.

Henriques had a brilliant night and his composure under pressure will be noted by the national selectors.

The Heat responded to the 23 run chase by sending out captain Brendon McCullum and Cutting who, after bowling the final over of the innings and the Super Over, was the Heats Minister for Everything.

But under huge pressure to hit boundaries they managed just 15 off Sean Abbott's over.

The crowd jeered as Abbott's first ball was not judged a wide despite being over McCullum's head.

McCullum then two to deep mid-on, pushing the equation to three sixes and a four for victory.

Abbott bowled a wide and McCullum then spanked a four through Johan Botha's hands at deep mid-wicket, leaving them 16 runs from victory with three balls to play.

A single next ball effectively ended Brisbane's season.

Cutting started the Super Over well when he bowled a slower bouncer first ball which yielded an air swing.

He got away with a second one before Henriques put his fourth over the mid-wicket fence.

His fourth was a no-ball and two balls later Henriques cleared the fence again.

The Heat seemed out of the match when the Sixers 2-129 in the 14th over chasing a mid-range 167 for victory with Moises Henriques and Daniel Hughes in full cry.

The crowd was near silent. The game seemed over. The season done.

Sydney Sixers captain Moises Henriques (left) leads players from the field after winning the Big Bash League  semi-final
Sydney Sixers captain Moises Henriques (left) leads players from the field after winning the Big Bash League semi-final DAVE HUNT

But from there they fell apart with a collapse of 3-9 then a stuttering procession to the point where they needed 19 off the last two overs and six off the last over bowled by Cutting.

Cutting rose to the challenge and when sweet hitting danger man Johan Botha was out with three balls to go - incorrectly given out caught behind - it seemed the Heat may win.

Youngster Ben Dwarshuius - needing three for victory of the final ball - took an full blooded swipe at a pull shot which some how landed in the middle of three sweeping fieldsmen and allowed him to take three runs.

Brisbane's total of 9-167 seemed an even-money bet on the slowish wicket and so it proved.

Nathan Lyon, cheered like a returning war hero when he played a Test here in December, was the

cagey conjurer who shaped the game with 4-23 from his four overs.

His best wickets was his first with youngster Sam Heazlett scoreless for three balls then lured down the wicket to stumped by more than a metre.


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