BBL 2016-17, Match 15 Review: Daniel Hughes, Sean Abbott propel the Sydney Sixers to their 3rd win of the tournament

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Sydney Sixers celebrate a wicket during their match against the Brisbane Heats. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

The Sydney Sixers held their nerves and clinched a nail-biting thriller against the Brisbane Heats at the Gabba today. Courtesy a brilliant 85 from opener Daniel Hughes, the Sixers completed a sensational victory by 3 wickets and with a couple of deliveries to spare. Brendon McCullum and Jimmy Pearson played some delightful shots up front to lay the foundation for the hosts before Joe Burns struck a wonderful fifty later in the innings to help the Strikers reach 186/6 in 20 overs.

Despite losing Jason Roy early, the Sixers remained calm and clinched a much-needed victory in the final over of the match. With this win, the Sixers has now won 3 out of 5 while this was the first defeat as far as the Brisbane Heats were concerned.

Sydney Sixers captain Moises Henriques won the toss and asked the hosts Brisbane Heats to bat. The Heats went off to a rollicking start courtesy openers Jimmy Pearson and Brendon McCullum. Both looked in ominous touch and took on the bowling from the word go. Pierson started off with a hat-trick of boundaries in the first over which got the hosts going. McCulum too joined in the fun by hitting Johan Botha for a splendid boundary in the following over.

The former New Zealand captain was dismissed in the final delivery of the 7th over by Sean Abbott. The fast bowler who bowled pretty consistently got his reward finally as he cramped McCullum for room. The hard-hitting batsman threw yet another pull shot at it but failed to connect properly. The ball ballooned up in the air and was safely pouched by Johan Botha in the mid-wicket boundary.

Man in form Chris Lynn began in a scintillating fashion hitting two monstrous sixes but couldn’t carry on as he was dismissed by Abbott in the 9th over. It was a full delivery on the leg stump and Lynn tried it to lift it again but failed to get the elevation on that. Jason Roy stationed in the long on boundary completed the catch.

The Heats received a huge blow in the 11th over as Jimmy Pearson who was going great guns was dismissed by Henry Thornton with a full pitched delivery. As Pearson went for his favourite flick he missed it altogether and the ball thudded on to his pads and hit plumb in front. Alex Ross too fell in quick succession as the hosts were reduced to 100/4 from 73/0.

Joe Burns who came in the middle at the fall of Pearson’s wicket played some scintillating shots later in the innings to propel the hosts to 186/6 in their allotted 20 overs. Ben Cutting also chipped in with a quickfire 20 later in the innings to help the Heats post a big total. While Burns struck 3 fours and two sixes during his unbeaten knock of 51 of 33 balls, Cutting hit four boundaries during his quickfire knock.

Also read: Twitter Reaction: Daniel Hughes stars in impressive win for the Sydney Sixers

Chasing 187 to win the Sydney Sixers got off to a poor start losing hard-hitting opener Jason Roy in the 3rd over of Samuel Badree. It was beautiful wrong un by the leggie as Roy failed to pick it and was struck plumb in front. Nic Maddinson who had a horrendous time in his short Test career looked good during his short stay in the middle and struck 3 fours and a solitary six during his innings of 24.

After hitting two consecutive boundaries of Ben Cutting in the 7th over, Maddinson was bamboozled by a well-disguised slower delivery by the all-rounder. The southpaw was into the shot way early and could only manage to lob it straight to the bowler.

While wickets fell at the other end, Hughes kept going and was ticking along the scorecard at a brisk pace. The Sixers were reduced to 91/4 in the 11th over after the fall of Sam Billings’ wicket. The complexion of the match changed totally as Brad Haddin came into the middle. The former Aussie wicket-keeper batsman played a breathtaking cameo of 32 of a mere 13 deliveries, an innings which included three fours and two gigantic sixes.

With Haddin’s heroics, the Sixers reached 150 in the 16th over. Haddin was eventually dismissed in that very over as he went for yet another hook. Jack Wildermuth bowled a good short delivery which would have been a wide if Haddin had left it, but instead he went for a hook and only managed to hit it straight to the square leg fielder.

The match still looked in their grasp but with some fine bowling towards the end of the innings, the Brisbane Heats clawed their way back into the match in the final phase of the match. With 3 runs required of the final over and Daniel Hughes at the crease very few would have given the Heats any chance. But Ben Cutting had other ideas.

He castled the southpaw in the first delivery of the over to keep the hopes alive for the Heats. Cutting managed to beat the bat on the next two deliveries but the batsmen completed a bye. Sean Abbott who just faced a delivery hit the winnings shots as he top edged a short of length delivery from Cutting straight over the wicket-keeper’s head.

Brief Scores 

Brisbane Heat: 186/6 in 20/20 overs (Joe Burns 51, Sean Abbott 3/38) 

Sydney Sixers: 191/7 in 19.4 overs (Daniel Hughes 85, Mitchell Swepson 2/25) 
Sydney Sixers won by 3 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)

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