Brisbane Heat 5/205 (20 Overs) Defeated Adelaide Strikers 5/195 (20 Overs)
1. Some great death bowling from the Heat here saved them from a seemingly hopeless position. The Strikers looked in total command at 1/140 after 12 overs requiring only 66 from 8 overs with 9 wickets in hand. However the likes of Mitchell Swepson, Mark Steketee and Ben Cutting got it right when it mattered most bowling outstanding in the final 3 overs to pull the game from out of the fire. Cutting executed 3 outstanding yorkers and dismissed the real danger man in Pollard. While Swepson the young leg spinner held his nerve to not concede a boundry in the 3rd last over. Steketee then produced an outstanding final over to seal the deal and give the Heat a victory to start the competition.
2. I rated the Heat's bowling close to the weakest in the competition going in and for long period here they looked that way. . Apart from Badree, there did not appear to be any bankers and you can't carry 2 or 3 bowlers in this format. Obviously in Adelaide, these are ideal batting conditions, so the margin for error wasn't great. This was always going to be a high scoring game, Jason Floras being relied upon for 4 overs is a bit a worry as he is no more than a part timer. However, there wasn't a lot of discipline or T20 bowling skills from their faster men apart from the final 3 overs. Cutting is a wicket taker, however in his first few overs he bowled way too short. The Heat will take a lot of confidence from this win, as for 14-15 overs they looked pretty listless with the ball.
3.. Ben Dunk and Jake Weatherald played really well for Adelaide up the top of the order. It's not a big name combination at the top of the order like other sides have, however both played with real intent and confidence. Adelaide should have real confidence in this pair going forward based on what they produced tonight. When they went aerial it was calculated and they were really balanced. Weatheral played some beautiful pick up shots off the back foot against the spinners. Ben Dunk has been a late bloomer and at 29 years of age is playing the best cricket of his career. It was a shrewd signing for the Strikers, pinching Dunk from under Hobart's noses. Having players that can take apart an attack in the Power Play with the field up are crucial in this competition.
4. Travis Head had a bit of a night to forget which can happen to a player anytime in a high pressure game. Critically he played out 8 straight dot balls which is a bit unforgivable at this level. When your chasing a huge total you can't afford to let the pressure build up from one end and Head just had one of those nights. Dunk probably could have been a bit more responsible given the way he was playing and finished the game off rather then leave it to the middler order. Pollard coped a great yorker so you can't be too harsh on him. They were not too far away here the Strikers but they will rue this one as a game that got away from them.
5. I spoke about fielding last night and how games can change based on one dropped catch. It's the defensive side of the game, but like the NRL it's really important. Last night the Thunder dropped Henriques on 0 and 28 and they went on the lose the game by 9 wickets. Had one of those chances been taken, the game has a completely different complexion. Tonight the Heat let Ben Dunk off on 5 and on 78 and with it went their chance of grabbing the momentum. The Heat managed to get away with it tonight but it nearly cost them victory. The funny thing is tonight some of the culprits in the field were players that would be among the best couple of athletes in their team. Travis Head and Alex Ross are outstanding catchers and fielders. However, it's a high pressure environment out there and the ball isn't always easy to pick up under lights. The best bowling and fielding sides, or the sides that play the best "defense", will probably be the sides that go on to play semi finals in the BBL. Often in ball sports, it's the most organised and disciplined defences that finish on top, not the flashy sides. Fielding and catching is the the nitty gritty side of the game, but you can save 20 runs in the field through taking a half chance or a run out.
6.. Overall this always looked a high scoring game on paper and that is exactly what eventuated with over 400 runs scored. The Heat are going to win some games with that dynamic batting line up. They are probably far better off chasing runs and I won't be surprised if, when they win the toss, they bowl all the time. However I still think they are only a borderline finals team with that bowling line up. Adelaide look a pretty solid batting side that are a bit short with the ball. Their bowling wasn't great tonight, however they have some scope for improvement with the likes of Pollard, Richardson and Laughlin to go with their spinners. I think they are capable of getting better as the series goes on. Both sides will be close to the finals and will win their fair share of games I feel, however I'm not sure they are Top 2 quality sides.
7. What a start to the season for "The Lurker" Last night he tipped us into Henriques 25 + and a Sixers win. Tonight amazingly he backed that up with another double. Not only did he correctly tip a heat upset, but also gave us the margin of between 1-20 runs. If you are follower "The Lurker" your counting your cash at the minute - "The Lurker has once again struck gold, form like this hasn't been seen since the days of Alan Farah cutting rug on the D floor at K and K, I am seeing like watermelons right now, stay tuned tomorrow battlers for more gold"