BBL 2016-17: Top 5 moments from the second semi-final between Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers
After a one-sided affair in the first semi-final of the Big Bash League between Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers, the second semi-final between Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat was probably the match of the tournament with last year’s bottom-placed team, Sydney Sixers, qualifying for their third BBL final after prevailing in the Super Over.
Both teams had played a very exciting match in the round-robin where the Sixers won the match with only two balls to spare but their semi-final encounter was one of the best matches played in the BBL. It was only the third match in BBL history to be decided by a Super Over.
After being put into bat by Sydney Sixers skipper Moises Henriques, the Brisbane Heat were off to a steady start thanks to early boundaries by Jimmy Pearson before he perished on 19. Skipper Brendon McCullum then took charge and scored a crucial 46 off 27 deliveries, and thanks to important contributions by Jack Wildermuth, Marnus Labuschagne, and Joe Burns, the Brisbane Heat ended their innings at 167/9 in their overs.
For the Sydney Sixers, Nathan Lyon and Sean Abbott were the pick of the bowlers with four wickets each, but had contrasting economy rates. While Lyon went for only 5.75 runs an over, Abbott went for 10 an over.
In reply, the Sydney Sixers had a shaky start as they lost opener Nick Maddinson and Colin Munro early and were struggling at 34/2 before skipper Moises Henriques and opener Daniel Hughes added a 99-run partnership for the third wicket to keep them in a good position to win the match. The dismissal of Hughes triggered a middle-order collapse, but Johan Botha’s crucial 12-ball cameo of 16 and Ben Cutting’s brilliant final over ensured that the match would go to a Super Over.
In the Super Over, Moises Henriques once again proved himself as the Sydney Sixers’ talisman; he hit two sixes and a boundary off Cutting’s bowling to take the Sydney Sixers to a score of 22, giving the Brisbane Heat an uphill task of chasing 23 in one over.
The Heat were never in the Super Over as Sean Abbott bowled a good over with the only negative being conceding a six off Brendon McCullum. But it was already game over for the Heat and the Sydney Sixers cruised to the final where they will now take on table-toppers Perth Scorchers.
Here are five of the best moments of the match.
Brief Scores: Brisbane Heat - 167/9 in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum - 46, Nathan Lyon - 23/4, Sean Abbott - 40/4; Sydney Sixers - 167/8 in 20 overs (Moises Henriques - 64, Daniel Hughes - 46, Mark Steketee - 21/2)
Result: Sydney Sixers win via Super Over
#5 Sydney Sixers end their Super Over hoodoo at the BBL
There have been three matches in BBL history whose outcome was decided by a Super Over and all three of them involved the Sydney Sixers and Moises Henriques batted in all three of them. The first match was between the Sixers and the Perth Scorchers in the 2013-14 season when both teams were tied on 153.
The Sixers batted first and Moises Henriques scored the only run in that over as Yasir Arafat dismissed both Henriques and Steve Smith. In reply, the Scorchers won the match in the very first delivery as Adam Voges hit a Brett Lee delivery for four.
The second match came in the very next season between the Sixers and Melbourne Stars when both teams were tied on 153. James Faulkner’s two sixes saw the Stars finish on 19. Once again, the Sixers were cleaned up by the opposition, this time for 9 with Moises Henriques scoring a duck.
However, this time, lady luck went easy on the Sixers as they scored 22 in their Super Over with Henriques scoring 18 runs alone. In reply, the Brisbane Heat scored 15 with Brendon McCullum hitting a four and a six but by that time, the match was already over.