Brisbane Heat 6/186 (20 Overs) v Sydney Sixers @ The Gabba
Heat Remain Kings Of The Batting Power Play
They looked the most destructive batting side in BBL6, and the Heat have delivered up front with another brutal display of batting in the Power Play. The Heat torched the Sixers for 70 in their opening 6 overs without losing a wicket. Jimmy Peirson took centre stage, overshadowing his big name opening partner Brendon McCullum, by launching into the Sixers young fast bowlers in Henry Thornton and Ben Dwarshuis. Pearson finished with an excellent 44 and looks a fantastic player off his legs It's the third time in four matches that the Heat have racked up 70+ in the Power Play so far. Essentially this gives them a higher celling then other teams in the BBL. While occasionally like the Thunder game they might fall apart the Heat's top 3 are bring right now and it's propelling them towards a Top 2 spot and a home Semi Final.
Forgotten Man Burns To The Rescue
It's been a chastising few months for Joe Burns. Firstly he had to deal with being dropped from the Test side and watching his young replacement Matt Renshaw star in his opening three games. Burns also had a couple of lean Sheffield Shield matches before being used as a bit part player at Number 5 for the Brisbane Heat in BBL. Burns is a great striker of the ball and a classy all round player, so I think he would be a bit disappointed batting so low, however at the moment you can't argue with how their batting order looks. However he really showed his class here after a scratchy start to compile an excellent half century after the Heat had lost 4 quick wickets straight after the batting powerplay. Burns gives the Heat's batting order real strength in depth as they head towards the critical games later in BBL6.
Thornton A Keeper Despite Expensive Debut
Henry Thornton made an immediate impression for the Sixers on debut even if his figures of 1 for 40 off 4 overs were relatively expensive. Thornton was unlucky on a few occasions and could easily have finished with closer to 2 for 30. Thornton was obviously pumped up and nervous during an opening over that was erratic, but caught the eye none the less. As Brad Haddin said on the commentary you can't coach speed. He really caught his wicket keeper off guard a couple of times such was the pace and bounce he generated. There are not many bowlers around the country who can bowl 145km per hour, however the Sixers now have one and there's no way I would be replacing him in my first choice 11. He is going to be much better for the run. Thornton has been in the NSW system for a few years, however a number of injuries have kept him away from the limelight. However I think the sky is the limit for him if he can stay fit.
Abbott Impresses Again
Sean Abbott is fast becoming the Sixers premier seam up bowler, backing up his 5 for 16 in Adelaide wth another good outing against the Heat. Abbott came in to the attack when his fellow bowlers were suffering carnage all around them, and immediately changed the flow of the game by taking the 2 key wickets of McCullum and Lynn. Sometimes you have certain bowlers in your team that might not always be the most reliable, but have the knack of taking wickets, and Abbott is certainly one of those bowlers. While Abbott has always been able to break a partnership, it's been the execution of his variations which has impressed most over the last two games. Abbott finished with 3 for 38 to make it 8 wickets in 2 games for the big all rounder.
Lurker Staring Down The Barrel Of Back to Back Losses
It's been a rough start to 2017 for The Lurker and his upset tip of the Sixers looks dicey at best as the Heat racked up 6/186 in front of another bumper home crowd. The Sixers were bowled out for a miserable 108 in Adelaide, however they have the firepower at least on paper to turn things around tonight. The poor old Lurker will be sweating bullets right now.