Brisbane Heat locked horns with Sydney Thunder in the season opener of BBL 2019-20. It turned out to be a roller coaster ride for the fans with many ups and downs in the game. However, Thunder defeated the overwhelming Heat in the opening game by a margin of 29 runs.
At the start, Sydney Thunder won the toss and opted to bat. However, the decision didn’t go well and they lost both openers Usman Khawaja and Alex Hales in the first four overs of the innings. Khawaja opened for Thunder with an aggressive approach and smashed 22 runs off 13 balls before he was caught by Sam Heazett on fine leg off Josh Lalor. In the next over, Hales was dismissed after playing a mistimed stroke on a short-pitched delivery against Mark Steketee and was caught by Heazlett.
Brisbane Heat batsmen struggle in front of Sydney Thunder spin trio
Heat bowlers tightened their grip on the match when they dismissed Matthew Gilkes in the fourth over and Thunder was left struggling at a score of 38 for three. Callum Ferguson (73* off 44 balls) and Alex Ross (30 runs off 27 balls) tried to revive their side from the early blows and stitched a brilliant partnership of 63 runs for the 4th wicket. Mitchell Swepson, the right-arm leg break, helped Heat in getting breakthroughs and dismissed settled Ross and new batsman Daniel Sams on two consecutive deliveries.
However, Callum Ferguson from one end was playing a good and responsible knock with the bat. He went unbeaten after scoring 73 runs off 44 balls with three sixes and six boundaries. In the end, Thunder managed to post a competitive total of 172 runs at a loss of six wickets in stipulated 20 overs.
Coming onto chase, Heat opener Tom Banton ruthlessly smashed two consecutive sixes and a boundary in the first over and got off the mark. However, he had to pay for his aggressive approach and was caught by Nathan McAndrew off Jonathan Cook before he could do further damage with his clinical hitting. In the third over of the innings, Cook took his second wicket and dismissed Max Bryant. The Thunder spinner successfully sent both the openers of Heat back to the hut.
The biggest breakthrough for Thunder came in the fourth over when they castled the Heat skipper Chris Lynn, who tried to smash a loopy full toss bowled by Chris Tremain but couldn’t time it well and was caught by Ferguson on the covers.
For Heat, all the hopes went down to Ben Cutting, who smashed 28 runs off 18 balls with two boundaries and two sixes. But, he was dismissed on a brilliant Yorker bowled by Daniel Sams that sent Cutting back into the dressing room. With nothing much left in their batting order, Thunder could only score 143 runs in stipulated 20 overs and lost the match by a margin of 29 runs
The spin trio of Chris Green, Arjun Nair, and Jonathan Cook did a stupendous job with the ball and restricted Heat batsmen from scoring runs. Green and Cook took two wickets each and Nair dismissed one batsman. Their brilliant bowling was one of the main reasons behind Thunder winning their season opener.
The Sydney Thunder fans were elated and congratulated them for convincingly winning their season opener against Brisbane Heat.
Here is how Twitterati reacted:
25 from 17 with the bat, and now 2/19 off four overs with the ball.
— #7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 17, 2019
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 17, 2019
— Eden Richards (@Eden_Richards) December 17, 2019
Chris Green in 1st match of #BBL09
25 off 17 with the bat at no 7
— Manish 🏏 (@IManish311) December 17, 2019
Jono Cook 🤦🏽♀️ Catches win matches mate #BBL09
— Hannah (@hclaire29) December 17, 2019
#BBL09 Oh dear. That was a sitter.
— Summer Sports Ball (@crowdiegal) December 17, 2019
Sams bowling the last over with 32 runs to win for the Heat. Don’t write them off… #BBL09
— Justin™ (@FutbolJustin) December 17, 2019
What has Zahir Khan got on his hands? Does he have something cooking in the oven? #BBL09
— James Cheeseman (@shaggy84329) December 17, 2019
Why is Ferguson’s hat different to everyone else? Because he’s captain? #BBL09
— The Armchair Pundits (@TheArmchairPun2) December 17, 2019
Was honestly expecting a heat win (it’s a disappointing loss being a heat fan) tonight but the thunder thoroughly deserve the win congrats to them #BBL09
— Liz (@digirangers) December 17, 2019
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