A Brisbane Heat outfit inspired by substitute captain Jimmy Peirson tonight came close to claiming one of the biggest comeback wins in Big Bash League history.
The Adelaide Strikers won Gabba’s clash by two points as Peirson could only manage a four on the last ball, instead of a six that would have sent the game to a super over.
But it was astonishing that the hosts came close, as they had collapsed at 8-68 in their chase of 151 to win.
Peirson, who received the Heat captain’s title when superstar batsman Chris Lynn pulled his hamstring in warm-up, walked down the middle at number seven and blew unbeaten 69 on 36 balls.
Brisbane Heat superstar skipper Chris Lynn pulls hamstrings during warm-up
The 28-year-old came to the limit in the ninth with Brisbane scoring a sad 5-37, and by the end of the game he had led his team to 9-148.
Nineteen-year-old Afghan tail Mujeeb Ur Rahman gave the chase a boost in an 18-of-10-delivery blitz, which included two reverse sweeps for four and a flush for six over long duration, all outside the bowling alley of compatriot Rashid Khan.
Peirson and Rahman combined for a record 60 partnership at the ninth wicket.
But the carnage of Adelaide’s first innings with the ball had prepared them for victory and shrewd Peter Siddle leadership late in the heats proved decisive.
The Adelaide skipper got back to the bowling alley and brought back Rahman’s stumps on his first pass, absorbing a delivery, stopping Brisbane’s momentum and sending the dangerous pinch hitter back to the flag.
A second BBL match in as many days has reignited the debate over the lack of a decision review system when heat batsman Tom Cooper got an outrageous call from referee Tony Wilds.
The veteran was knocked out of the bowling alley of Strikers spinner Danny Briggs after clearly hitting the ball with his bat.
The gruesome decision followed that of referee Simon Lightbody at Manuka Oval on Tuesday night, who saw Sydney Thunder batsman Usman Khawaja give in despite clearly passing the ball to Perth Scorchers wicket keeper Josh Inglis.
Thunder-Scorchers BBL Howler Referee
If the DRS had been used not only in international cricket but also in BBL, both decisions would undoubtedly have been overturned.
Tonight’s win means the Strikers have climbed to third on the table, while the Heat are still winless and anchored at the bottom of the ladder.
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