Forgotten Aussie star Sam Heazlett blasts Brisbane Heat to BBL knockout win over Sydney Thunder
A brilliant knock from forgotten Brisbane Heat star Sam Heazlett has delivered his side a shock win over the Sydney Thunder in their BBL knockout clash.
Set a target of 159 to win, the Heat looked dead in the water half-way through their chase, before an unbeaten 92-run stand between Heazlett and keeper Jimmy Peirson brought Brisbane home.
Heazlett finished unbeaten on 74 off just 49 deliveries, slamming six fours and three sixes, while Peirson finished unbeaten on 43 off 24 deliveries, with two fours and three sixes.
Heazlett’s innings was made more exceptional by the fact that he suffered through an extremely slow start.
The left-hander managed just 19 runs off his first 26 deliveries faced, with no boundaries, before smashing 55 off his next 23 deliveries.
Following the win, Heat skipper Chris Lynn was full of praise for Heazlett, whose career has stalled after being handed a surprise Australian ODI debut back in 2017.
“We haven’t played the perfect game yet. We haven’t married up the bat and the ball in one game, so hopefully it’s in the next one or in the final,” he told Fox Cricket.
“I’m really happy for Sam Heazlett, he’s had a tough trot. It goes to show (what happens) when you stick it out, you can’t score runs when you’re sitting in the dugout.
“The confidence that he’ll take from this and the boys are going from strength to strength at the moment.”
The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for the Thunder, who have been the BBL’s form side for the majority of the competition.
Sent in to bat by Lynn, Sydney stumbled to a below-par score of 8-158 off its 20 overs, with the BBL’s leading runscorer for this season, Alex Hales, failing to fire.
Some lusty late blows from Ben Cutting (34 off 18) gave the Thunder a brief glimmer of hope, but ultimately their bowlers did not have enough runs to play with.
While the competition comes to an end for the Thunder, the Heat will face the Perth Scorchers next, just two wins away from a feat which seemed impossible earlier in BBL10.