The Eliminator between the Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat saw two teams looking to advance to the next step of the finals journey as BBL|12 continues this season’s adventurous giant-packed fairytale.
The Sydney Thunder tried to prove that their best can compete with the elite teams this season, meanwhile, the Brisbane Heat were desperate to play with urgency now more than ever.
In front of a home crowd, it was the Thunder’s chance to show their fans that they have what it takes to rise to the top.
Sydney elected to field first and sent the visitors in. After its horrible collapse in its last game, Brisbane Heat needed to get off to a good start.
Heat captain Usman Khawaja led his team with a masterclass performance, showing what T20 is all about, hitting ten fours and three sixes. His ability to blitz through the field allowed him to score 94 runs from 55 balls.
A former member and captain of the Thunder, Khawaja was able to manoeuvre his body for to hit balls all around the ground, including several eye-catching reverse scoops.
The Heat looked hard to stop, with their rhythm being upbeat and in control with an upside of a high score going their way.
Joining state and Test teammate Khawaja at the crease, Marnus Labuschagne joined the aggressive play, cruising through short balls bowled by the Thunder, scoring 73 runs from 48 balls.
The pair’s chemistry and playing on the biggest stage showed in this state-versus-state matchup, with their partnership totalling up to 128 runs. Both went out in the 16th and 20th over respectively as the innings fell in the final act.
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The Thunder found Khawaja edging to the keeper, ending his magnificent innings and preventing him a shot at a century.
Despite losing Khawaja, Matt Renshaw continued to push the run rate as the Heat skyrocketed towards 200 runs. Renshaw came out guns blazing scorning 24 runs from eight balls, his short but powerful stay at the crease included three sixes and a boundary.
The Thunder were looking to make a thrilling comeback, with anticipation high for the chase and coming back from a 5-203 scoreline.
Chasing 204 to win, Sydney’s run chase started with a bang as David Warner put on his best performance since re-joining the competition this season, scoring 36 from 20 balls.
After 6.5 overs, the Thunder were 1-52, starting in strong form and looking in very good shape compared to their recent form. But all of a sudden, rain started to pour down, pushing the game to be delayed with the uncertainty of whether it would continue.
The game became anti-climatic with the anticipation, curiosity, and tension going away and what was supposed to be a strong finish became a what-if.
It was planned for the game to resume with the Thunder required to score 38 runs off 2.1 overs, thanks to the DLS method. However, the rain returned shortly before returning to the pitch and left the umpires no choice but to call the game off, eliminating the Thunder and sending the Heat into ‘the Knockout’ final against the Melbourne Renegades.
The Brisbane Heat will head to Marvel Stadium to play the Melbourne Renegades on Sunday night.
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