Adelaide Strikers squared off against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba in the 13th BBL fixture of the season. The game went down to the wire, and the Heat fell short by just two runs while chasing the Strikers' score of 150-6.
The Heat were down and out at one point as they were tottering at 68-8 in their chase. However, Jimmy Peirson (69 off 36) launched a terrific onslaught in the end, but it wasn't good enough to see his side home.
BBL 2020-21: The story of the first innings
Brisbane Heat won the toss and invited the Strikers to bat first. The Brisbane-based outfit was without their regular captain Chris Lynn for this BBL game as he injured himself during the warm-up just before the clash.
The Strikers got off to a poor start as they lost their opener Jack Weatherald in the first over to Xavier Bartlett. After that, Matt Renshaw and Phil Salt steered the innings forward. After six overs, the Strikers were 37-1. Just when the two batters were looking to explode, Mark Steketee dismissed Renshaw (32) and Salt (25) in the 10th over in successive deliveries.
Wicketkeeper Harry Nielsen played a smashing 28 runs off 20 balls, allowing the Strikers to reach the 150-mark. For the Heat, Bartlett was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with figures of 4-0-24-3 in this BBL tie.
BBL 2020-21: Brisbane Heat put up a sluggish performance while chasing 151
The Heat were the favorites to get the full points at the halfway stage, but the Strikers came out all guns blazing in the field. Daniel Worrall dismissed opener Sam Heazlett in the second ball of their innings for a duck. The Heat never managed to recover from the early setback.
Replacing the injured Chris Lynn at No.3, Simon Milenko hardly troubled the Strikers as he fell victim to Danny Briggs' left-arm spin. After eight overs, the Heat scraped their way to 35-4.
Experienced batsman Tom Cooper (22 off 24 balls) tried to steady the ship, but he was adjudged lbw off Briggs' bowling. However, the replays showed Cooper had clearly hit the ball with the bat first. The Heat looked dead and buried at one stage as they struggled at 68-8 in 13.2 overs.
However, Jimmy Peirson almost pulled off a miracle with some exceptional hitting. The Heat were 8 wickets down when they took their BBL power surge and those two overs yielded 43 runs.
Daniel Worrall bowled the all-important last over for the Strikers while defending 13 runs, with a set Peirson on strike. After a poor start to the over, Worrall held his nerve and executed his plan well to take his side home by a narrow margin of 2 runs. With this win, the Strikers moved to the 3rd spot on the BBL points table.Published 23 Dec 2020, 17:54 IST