Heat crush Sixers to win Australia's BBL final


প্রকাশের তারিখ: 18:25 বুধবার, 24 জানুয়ারি, 2024

|| AFP ||

Brisbane Heat crushed the Sydney Sixers by 54 runs to win their second Big Bash League (BBL) title and emphatically take the crown of being Australia's champion Twenty20 team in Sydney on Wednesday.

The Heat posted a challenging 166 for eight before routing the Sixers for 112 off 17.3 overs in front of a sell-out crowd of 43,153 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Paceman Spencer Johnson was named man of the match with bowling figures of 4-26 while dashing opener Josh Brown clubbed 53 off just 38 balls following his pulsating 140 off 57 balls in the challenger match to get the Heat into the final.

"We wanted to make amends after last year. Nice to contribute. To get a couple of wickets and win it's pretty special," left-armer Johnson said.

The Heat, led by Brown's prodigious hitting and Matt Renshaw's 40 off 22 balls, set up a competitive total batting first. 

Brown, who hammered 12 sixes in his rollicking 140 to propel the Heat into the final, clubbed three sixes and five fours in his half-century before he was out lbw to veteran spinner Steve O'Keefe.

Renshaw played a key cameo in his quickfire knock with the powerplay proving to be expensive for the Sixers, as they conceded 31 runs off it.

But Sydney came back strongly as paceman Sean Abbott picked three wickets in his final over to end with four for 32.

O'Keefe, 39, playing in his final match for the Sixers, finished with 99 BBL career wickets, bowling tidily to deliver figures of 1-26 off four overs.

But it was no contest as the Heat's quality set of bowlers demolished the Sixers before their Sydney fans with Johnson's four wickets, backed by leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson's two for 19 and Xavier Bartlett's two for 12.

Skipper Moises Henriques top-scored with 25 off 27 balls for the Sixers and wicketkeeper Josh Philippe chipped in with 23 (22).

The Heat's Michael Neser participated in the catch of the final when he caught Sean Abbott (16) at long-on and managed to somehow flick the ball up to his teammate Paul Walter before he fell over the boundary rope to effect the catch.  

"The catch was almost a reflex thing. I knew I was close but not that close to the boundary," Neser said.

"It's a huge win for the group. We've put in a lot of work after the loss in the final last year. I feel we've been the most consistent team."

The Sixers were never able to string together any substantial partnerships and the match was effectively over midway through their innings.