Brisbane Heat v Sydney Thunder, BBL, Brisbane January 17, 2012

Christian keeps Heat in finals' race

The Report by Andrew Fuss

Brisbane Heat 195 for 4 (Christian 75*, Lynn 37) beat Sydney Thunder 104 for 6 (Khawaja 37) by 91 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The Brisbane Heat have sensationally moved into fourth place in the Big Bash points table thanks to a crushing win over the Sydney Thunder at the Gabba.

Having lost their first four matches, the Heat seemed out of the finals' race. But three consecutive wins including tonight's 91-run win has pushed them ahead of the Stars on net run-rate.

The Heat will now rely on the Adelaide Strikers defeating the Melbourne Stars in Thursday's do-or-die clash at the MCG.

The Thunder started positively with debutant Nick Bills removing the dangerous Brendon McCullum for just 6 before Scott Coyte had Matthew Hayden caught at mid-on the next over.

But two partnerships anchored by Man of the Match Dan Christian (75 off 47 balls) stabilised the innings before he and Chris Lynn (37 off 17) plundered 71 runs off just 27 balls to set up a huge target.

Coyte (1 for 23) was the pick of the bowlers for the young Thunder side, who were fielding two debutants - Bills and Matthew Day.

Brisbane got off to a dream start with the ball with Alister McDermott removing the most dangerous man in world T20 cricket, Chris Gayle, first ball to a short and wide delivery outside off that Gayle edged through to the keeper.

Tim Cruickshank was gone later that over and the visitors went into their shells, struggling for runs and losing wickets at regular intervals to slump to the biggest runs loss in the Big Bash League this year.

All eyes will now be on Thursday night's clash between the Stars and the Strikers, with four teams vying for just one spot in the finals. The Thunder are almost certain to finish the season in last place.