Brisbane Heat 203/5 (Khawaja 94, Labushen 73, Green 2-29) Sydney Thunder 52/1 (Warner 36*, Bazele 1-3) by eight runs (DLS method)
Starting the finals series, Khawaja and Labuschagne put on a 128-run partnership to take the Heat to their highest total ever at the Sydney Showgrounds.
The match was set to resume with the Thunder facing a revised target of 90 runs in nine overs – they were already 52 for 1 after 6.5 – but the match was called off due to incessant rain. Done.
The Heat dominated and will face the Melbourne Renegades in Sunday’s knockout final at Marvel Stadium, while the Thunder’s see-saw of the season ended in disappointment.
Khawaja and Labuschagne smash the Thunder
Khawaja fell short of a worthy century but his flow seemed to be rubbing off on Labuschagne, who struggled with his timing as he employed some inventive strokes of his own to register his maiden BBL half-century in his 23rd innings. Prior to this, he had played the role of anchor.
Labuschagne, who had scored just 16 runs at a strike-rate of 104, hit his first six of the season when he clubbed seamer Daniel Sams over long-on in the final over. He repeated it three balls later to lift the Heat past 200, before his 48-ball 73 ended on the last ball of the innings. Labuschagne proved a point for critics that his formidable batting of the longer format could translate into T20 cricket.
Pawson’s Scary Start
Pawson came into the attack in the third over after Nathan McAndrew struggled in the powerplay and was immediately put in the line. His first ball was carved through point for a boundary by Khawaja, who then bowled two short balls over the rope. A troubled Pawson bowled a waist full toss to complete 15 runs in the first over in the BBL. He hoped his fortunes might change when he returned in the 11th over, but it only fueled the ferocity of Khawaja, who hit two sixes.
Pawson, who had earned his call-up through solid form in the local Sydney ranks, showed flashes of pace but just couldn’t get his length right and made a torrid start with 0 for 32 from two overs.
Warner gets off to a brisk start before rain spoils the party
Unlike his teammate Steven Smith, Warner had struggled in his long-awaited BBL return and averaged only 12.6 in five innings. But here he started aggressively and took a liking to the left-hander Johnson, hitting three fours in the fourth over. This was Warner’s best performance during this BBL season and he threatened to play a heroic knock before rain intervened to end the Thunder’s season.