Heat's Brendon McCullum plays a pull shot during BBL match between the Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat at the SCG. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Heat's Brendon McCullum plays a pull shot during BBL match between the Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat at the SCG. Picture. Phil Hillyard

Heat’s finals hopes hanging by a thread

The Brisbane Heat's Big Bash League finals hopes are hanging by a thread after a shocking 79-run loss to the Sixers in Sydney.

The Heat limped to 98 in reply to the Sixers' 7-177 at the SCG and were never really in the hunt.

The up-and-down Heat only have three wins after nine games, but a log-jam in the middle of the BBL ladder has kept them in finals contention.

The Sixers ran through the misfiring Heat. Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images.
The Sixers ran through the misfiring Heat. Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images.

Brisbane's great escape thanks to last week's Gabba power outage - where they escaped a near-certain defeat to the Thunder with a draw - has also helped their campaign.

The Heat are sitting second-last on the ladder and need to win their remaining five matches to guarantee a finals spot.

Fast bowler Josh Lalor bagged a rare five-wicket haul for the Heat but was the only shining light on a poor night for battling Brisbane.

HEAT LACK SPICE

The Heat don't have the bowlers to win the Big Bash League.

If not for Lalor's excellent 5-26, Brisbane would have struggled to take a wicket on what was a tough pitch to score on.

Ben Cutting (0-36 from three overs), Mitch Swepson (0-27 from two overs) and Jack Prestwidge (0-35 from three overs) were spanked all over the park.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman (1-25) and Brendan Doggett (1-25) bowled tidily in their four overs to support Lalor's fantastic performance.

But the bottom line is the Heat don't have enough strike or bowlers that can bowl economically and build pressure.

The Bash Brothers failed to fire at the SCG. Picture by Phil Hillyard.
The Bash Brothers failed to fire at the SCG. Picture by Phil Hillyard.

BASH AND CRASH

The Heat needed to get off to a flyer chasing Sydney's mammoth total and did the exact opposite.

Teenage opener Max Bryant had his first real failure of the tournament in falling for a duck in Steve O'Keefe's wicket-maiden start to the innings.

The Heat were 1-1 after two overs as the "Bash Brothers" Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum looked to consolidate.

But that just heaped more pressure on the Heat in a big run-chase and Lynn eventually fell for two from seven balls looking to slog with no technique.

McCullum went back into his shell and looked to anchor the Heat's chase but only made it to 27 (31 balls).

Ben Cutting continued his strong summer of batting with 28 from 26 balls but the Heat had too much work to do late in the game.

The Heat had no answer for Sydney’s bowling attack. Picture by Phil Hillyard.
The Heat had no answer for Sydney’s bowling attack. Picture by Phil Hillyard.

CAN'T BAT, CAN'T BOWL, CAN'T FIELD

It wasn't just the Heat's batting and bowling that wasn't up to scratch.

Brisbane's fielding was atrocious and delivered the Sixers a stack of easy runs.

Captain Lynn was at fault when he missed a chance to run out Sixers counterpart Moises Henriques with a lazy piece of fielding.

Lynn didn't get back behind the stumps at the nonstrikers end and an opportunity went begging.

Fast bowler Brendan Doggett spilt two catches in the outfield that he should have taken, allowing Sixers batsman James Vince to rack up 75 from 46 balls.

The Heat men need to take some tips from WBBL player Haidee Birkett after her outstanding catch on Saturday delivered the Heat a spot in the women's final.

They have a week to regroup before facing the Stars in Melbourne on Sunday where their season will be on the line.

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News Corp Australia


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