Clinical Brisbane Heat go one better to claim BBL13 Title  

Big Bash League 2023/24

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Big Bash League 2023/24

An inspired bowling performance from Brisbane Heat at the SCG has seen them win their first BBL title in 11 years.

Josh Brown has blasted the Brisbane Heat to their second KFC BBL title to break the hearts of 43,153 home fans with a 54-run demolition of the Sydney Sixers at the SCG.

The big-hitting opener backed up his record-breaking 57-ball 140 with another quickfire half-century at the top of the order to deliver the Heat their first championship in 11 years, becoming just the third club after the Sixers and Perth Scorchers with multiple men’s Big Bash crowns.

Brown and skipper Nathan McSweeney (33) again set the platform for the Heat after being asked to bat first, before 40 off 22 from reserve Test squad batter Matthew Renshaw lifted the visitors to 8-166 on a tricky surface.

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Left-arm sensation Spencer Johnson (4-26) then sunk the Sixers to their fourth loss in a men’s Big Bash final with the best ever figures in a decider, eclipsing the record Sean Abbott (4-32) had set earlier in the evening.

It was a rocky chase from the start as Michael Neser removed Daniel Hughes (1) with the third delivery of the innings, well caught by Renshaw at slip off a beautiful delivery that seamer away from the left-hander.

Jack Edwards (16) and Josh Philippe (23) attempted to get the pursuit going as Johnson conceded 13 from his first four deliveries of the night.

But from then on it was one way traffic, the Heat speedster claiming Edwards bowled with the last delivery of his first over before adding Philippe in his second as he chipped a mistimed pull shot to the mid-on.

He returned to claim two more with the air out of the Sixers chase, his four scalps taking him past teammate Xavier Bartlett (18) as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 19.

Recalled leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson (2-19) added the crucial wicket of Jordan Silk stumped for a duck, beating the outside of bat with a beautiful delivery that spun past the outside edge before ‘keeper Jimmy Peirson did the rest.

When Englishman Paul Walter claimed Sixers skipper Moises Henriques for 25 the trophy was effectively theirs, Michael Neser putting the icing on the cake with another extraordinary outfield catch, flicking a ball behind his back to a teammate as he fell over the rope at long on.

Big Bash champion Steve O’Keefe’s stellar career ending with a first-ball duck as the Sixers were bowled out for 112, avenging their final-over loss from last season’s decider to cap off an incredible campaign where they won their first seven home-and-away games to top the standings.

After Hughes stepped in for Henriques at the toss to start the evening due to a bout of Covid and inserted the Heat, Abbott struck with the fifth ball of the night to remove Jimmy Peirson (4) who was again asked to open after the visitors recalled Swepson for Charlie Wakim.

It was cautious start from Brown and McSweeney, with the big-hitting opener’s first eight runs coming from 13 deliveries as he got his eye in before exploding.

The Heat were 1-16 at that point, but the 30-year-old right-hander got the innings moving as he crashed Hayden Kerr for a six and a four off consecutive deliveries straight after the four-over Powerplay.

Kerr (0-32 from two) was again the target a few overs later as he and McSweeney took 65 from the six overs, Brown passing 50 for the second time in as many innings by taking the left-armer for 18 in the 10th to help the Heat reach 1-81 at the halfway mark.

Ben Dwarshuis (1-38) broke through for the Sixers with the wicket of McSweeney before retiring Sixers champion Steve O’Keefe signed off a stellar Big Bash career with the wicket of Brown (53 off 38) in his final over, as the ball brushed the opener’s back bad as he tried to force a ball into the off-side and he was given out leg-before on review.

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O’Keefe (1-26) was honoured with a standing ovation from his adoring home fans after another excellent four overs, bowing out with 99 BBL from 103 matches at an incredible economy of 6.65.

Max Bryant (29 off 19) and Matthew Renshaw kept the momentum going before the BBL’s all-time leading wicket-taker rose to the occasion on the competition’s biggest stage.

The right-armer grabbed three wickets to stall the Heat in the 19th over, his 4-32 restricting the total to 8-166 after Renshaw added a lusty blow on the second last ball of the innings to finish on 40 from 22 balls.

Article by Cricket Australia