Cutting, Doggett halt Scorchers' winning run
Brisbane Heat 6 for 191 (Cutting 46, Lynn 39, Willey 2-40) beat Perth Scorchers 142 (Agar 31, Willey 25, Doggett 5-35) by 49 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Brisbane Heat have made a statement by trouncing the Perth Scorchers at the Gabba to vault to the top of the BBL table.
The Heat's powerful batting line-up overcame a mid-first innings slump to score 94 from the last seven overs to post a winning total. Ben Cutting and Joe Burns were the chief architects in the salvage mission, and they were helped by some atypically sloppy fielding and death bowling from the Scorchers.
The Heat then produced a disciplined, well-planned bowling performance to consign the Scorchers to their first loss of this BBL. The Heat will have to absorb the loss of Chris Lynn to international duty but it's nothing compared to the Scorchers concerns as their attack is set to be decimated for the back half of the tournament.
Heat hit a pot-hole
The Bash Brothers picked up where they left off against Melbourne Stars. Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum smashed 57 in the first five overs. Lynn was 31 off 15 balls before McCullum even faced a delivery. They did have some good fortune with three of the eight boundaries scored coming from two French cuts and an outside edge. When Lynn uncharacteristically mis-hit one off David Willey in the sixth over the game completely changed. McCullum was dropped in the outfield in the same over and the cavalier Heat retreated. They lost 4 for 40 in eight overs and only scored two boundaries with Ashton Agar and Joel Paris doing most of the squeezing.
First cut is the deepest
Cutting hasn't had many opportunities in the tournament so far, save for his 35 from 18 against the Melbourne Stars in round one. He had seven overs to bat with Burns to try and post a good score on a surface that was little slower than usual at the Gabba. But he looked to have failed when he top-edged a sweep off Agar. Andrew Tye ran in from deep backward square but grassed the chance sliding on his knees.
Cutting was on one at the time. The first salt was added to Tye's wound in the next over when Burns clubbed three sixes and a four. Further salt was added when Cutting launched three sixes off Paris. Tye did claim Burns, but Cutting's boundary off the final ball of his spell ensured he finished with 1 for 47, the worst figures of his BBL career. Cutting cleared the rope twice more before holing out on the second last ball of the innings. But his 20-ball 46, with five bombs, helped the Heat score 94 from the last seven overs to post 6 for 191.
Pace off in the Powerplay
The Scorchers love pace, both when bowling and batting. The Heat opted for spin in three of the first four overs of the run chase and they kept Willey and Michael Klinger exceptionally quiet. Burns raced through the first over at a cost of just four runs, which included two wides. Yasir Shah bowled two of the next three for just 12 runs. The Scorchers were 0 for 23 after four with Willey floundering on 6 off 12. Klinger felt the pinch and sliced a catch to third man trying to launch. Cartwright nicked off to slip next ball.
Willey's form at the top of the order has been intriguing. He has two T20 hundreds opening the batting in the T20 Blast in England and a career strike-rate of 142.40. He played well on a slow surface at Etihad Stadium against Melbourne Renegades but has struggled to adjust to the extra bounce and pace of both the WACA and the Gabba. He scored just 25 off 27 with one four and one six before holing out to Mitch Swepson.
Late power outage
Incredibly, the Scorchers were 4 for 101 after 13 overs and ahead of the Heat's score of 4 for 97 at the same stage. But the Scorchers don't possess the same calibre of power hitters in the lower order as the Heat. Agar did make a brief dash hitting two sixes in 31 from 18 balls. He also received a reprieve from substitute fielder Cameron Gannon in the outfield but did not capitalize in the same manner as Cutting. He holed out to the same fielder off the same bowler, Mark Steketee, with the next ball he faced. Steketee finished with 3 for 28 from four overs while Brendan Doggett took the last four wickets to bag a career-best 5 for 35, but all four fell when the required run-rate had climbed above 20 per over.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth