Brisbane Heat have secured a vital win over the Melbourne Stars in a stunning, rain-shortened match at Carrara to give their finals hopes a big boost.
- Chris Lynn smashed 48 off 23 balls to lead the Brisbane Heat to a win over Melbourne Stars at Carrara, lifting them to fifth on the Big Bash ladder
- The match was reduced to 10 overs a side after a series of rain delays
- The Heat kept the Stars to 5-111 — short of a revised target of 129 — thanks to incredible catches and run-saving work in the field
The Stars may have left frustrated after the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) formula left them chasing a revised target of 129, 14 more runs than the Heat (3-115) made from their 10 overs.
The visitors made 5-111 in reply, losing by 17 runs on DLS — but the home crowd left happy despite a number of rain delays after witnessing an action-packed contest with huge hitting, some incredible catches and one of the greatest saves seen in a Big Bash match.
Chris Lynn played a full game for the Heat after returning from injury as an X-Factor in Brisbane’s previous game against the Thunder.
Lynn excited the fans by smashing a well-judged but quick-fire 48 off 23 balls.
Stars leg-spinner Adam Zampa (2-7) dismissed Lynn’s opening partner Max Bryant and Joe Denly in successive balls to throttle back Brisbane’s strong start.
The Heat had made 2-73 before one of the rain delays.
When they came back on, Stars skipper Glenn Maxwell brought himself on to bowl and Lynn hit one six wide of long-on before crushing a straight drive back over the bowler’s head for another six before the teams went off again.
The final shower reduced the game to 10 overs a side, leaving Brisbane with 10 balls left to complete their innings.
Maxwell clean-bowled Lynn off his first ball but ended up going for 20 runs from the over.
Hilton Cartwright had to bowl the final over and Joe Burns (22 off 11 balls) and English import Lewis Gregory (9 off 3) carted him for another 22 runs to bring their total to 3-115.
The advantage lay with the Heat and the game looked a forlorn hope for the Stars as opener Andre Fletcher struggled to fire early while partnering Marcus Stoinis.
The Stars needed 59 off five overs to gain the Bash Boost bonus point. Stoinis started to hit a few boundaries and sixes but, when Fletcher fell to a relay catch involving Mark Steketee and Xavier Bartlett on the straight boundary, the Melbourne side were 1-44 after 4.4 overs.
In came Trinidadian power-hitter Nicholas Pooran and he lived up to expectations with two huge sixes and a four off his first three balls.
He fell two balls later, however, thanks to a brilliant full-length diving catch at deep square leg by Gregory off paceman Steketee.
Maxwell came to the crease with the pressure on but he hit his first ball from Steketee to Xavier Bartlett at long on.
This was a big blow for the Stars and the game again looked gone when Stoinis edged a difficult catch high to keeper Jimmy Peirson’s right to depart soon after with the score 4-66.
Nick Larkin does not have the high profile of his top-order teammates but he breathed life into the contest, smashing a series of shots up to and over the rope.
He and Hilton Cartwright looked to be doing more than saving the Stars’ net run rate but the latter fell going for a six when Bryant took a catch at deep midwicket.
Larkin nearly fell himself soon after when Bryant attempted a similar manoeuvre to Steketee, only for a lengthy review to show he had marginally failed to get the ball away to James Bazley before putting a foot down beyond the rope.
The Stars were still in with a shot, as Larkin continued to reach the boundary.
But there was one moment of magical fielding left.
Larkin heaved the ball high and long towards deep-midwicket once again, only for Bryant to do a Superman leap, grasping the ball in mid-air while propelling himself backwards then releasing it in time for a teammate to field the ball, leaving the Stars with two runs instead of six.
Sebastian Gotch was out off the final ball of the innings from Bartlett, leaving Larkin on an impressive 35 not out off 16 balls.
The win, Brisbane’s third in a row, saw the Heat gain the maximum four points to jump from seventh to fifth, leapfrogging the Stars.
The Heat will play the Sixers at Carrara on Sunday, while the Stars next face the Strikers in Adelaide on Monday.
In the earlier match, the Sydney Thunder beat Hobart Hurricanes by 37 runs in Perth to take top spot on the ladder.