Brisbane Heat v Sydney Sixers, BBL, Brisbane January 7, 2013

Lumb fifty gives Sixers a lifeline

Sydney Sixers 5 for 128 (Lumb 61*, Cutting 2-9) beat Brisbane Heat 9 for 127 (Pomersbach 37, O'Keefe 3-21, Hazlewood 3-32) by five wickets

An unbeaten 61 from Michael Lumb on the back of a polished bowling display has given Sydney Sixers a sliver of hope of defending their title.

Brisbane Heat entered the match as the only side with anything to play for. A win would have catapulted them into the top four with one round remaining but they instead, they produced their worst performance of the tournament after winning the toss and electing to bat.

James Hopes set his side back early, playing out a maiden from the Sri Lankan offspinner Sachithra Senanayake. Senanayake, with only nine international caps to his name, proved a weapon in his first match for the Sixers. Although he went wicketless, his four overs cost just 19 and his maiden piled enormous pressure on Hopes, who holed out to Steve O'Keefe the following over.

Joe Burns joined Luke Pomersbach and although the pair put together 48, the 43 balls it took put pressure on Heat.

Josh Hazlewood made an impressive return from injury to remove Burns in his second over. It was the first of three scalps for Hazlewood, who remains firmly in the gaze of the national selectors. It also triggered a collapse from the home side. Heat lost four wickets in 19 balls, all to strokes aimed at clearing the rope to lift the sinking run-rate.

Five wickets become six when the promoted Ben Cutting gifted Brad Haddin a simple stumping and O'Keefe his third victim, and the total was still shy of three figures with just three overs remaining. Cameos from Peter Forrest and Nathan Hauritz ensured that the Sixers needed in excess of a run-a-ball for victory.

Lumb and Brad Haddin resumed their opening combination that proved so successful in the Champions League to get the Sydney side off to a brisk start. Haddin looked in ominous touch with two sweetly struck boundaries and a six before chopping on to Alistair McDermott.

Lumb then had to drop anchor as he watched both Nic Maddinson and Moises Henriques waste promising starts. Lumb had some luck too when he skied a ball from Hopes over short third man. Kemar Roach made exceptional ground and looked to have pouched it, only to stumble and propel the ball away to the rope for four.

Steve Smith top-edged a bizarre overhead smash to mid-on next ball to leave the Sixers needing 29 runs from 29 deliveries. Daniel Hughes was also bounced out to make the equation a nervy 17 from 14. But Lumb stood tall and cracked Dan Christian over the midwicket fence to both ease the tension and raise his half-century.

He would strike the winning runs powerfully through midwicket the following over to see his side home with six balls to spare.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Simon on January 9, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    I don't know if anyone has noticed, but at a test and ODI level there are a few quicks ahead of Hazelwood in the pecking order. They just keep getting injured. And whilst his averages are a little high, he is still young and learning. But he has great potential, and sometimes in order to develop that potential you have to throw them into the arena.

  • Patrick on January 8, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    The only reason hazlewood was even close to selection was his youth and state. There are literally dozens of better quicks in the country who aren't even close to selection.

  • Hamish on January 8, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Shouldn't Hazlewood have to perform at state level before he's in the eye of national selectors? He averages over 30 in first class and list A matches. Maybe he could be argued for in the 20-20s but a) is that really where you want young quicks playing much? b) there should still be a fair few people ahead of him.

  • Greg on January 8, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    My guess is it was something to do with it still being rd 7 match of BB tournament. Only fair to have them all still available, as ppl were on sunday night

  • Peter on January 7, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    @kirangupta. Quite right, & good job by them, when a player is eligible that has to be the priority. Brisbane suffered, but they knew this was the arrangement to secure his services. Still strange to me that this happens, yet CA allow Cutting & Haddin, picked for Friday's match, to play?

  • Kiran on January 7, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    @Bimsara Yohan The Heat didn't drop him, the Sri Lankan board revoked his NOC so he could join the training camp with the rest of the SL ODI squad.

  • Dummy4 on January 7, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    Why brisbane drop perera who played gud role as an allrounder throughout???

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