Brisbane Heat cruise to BBL title
Brisbane Heat 5 for 167 (Burns 43) beat Perth Scorchers 9 for 133 (Voges 49, Roach 3-18) by 34 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Kemar Roach, the Brisbane Heat's big-name international signing, entered the BBL final having taken only two wickets in his seven games, but he stepped up when it mattered most to help deliver the title against the Perth Scorchers. Roach collected 3 for 18 from his four overs and together with Man-of-the-Match Nathan Hauritz, who bowled tightly and took three terrific outfield catches, ensured the Heat would defend their 5 for 167 with relative ease.
In the end the Heat won by 34 runs as the Scorchers' chase petered out and they finished their 20 overs at 9 for 133, too much work having been left for the lower order. For the second consecutive year, the Scorchers suffered the disappointment of hosting the final, entering it as favourites, and emerging without the trophy, but by reaching this stage they at least qualified to take part in a second consecutive Champions League later in the year.
Still, they would have felt at the halfway point of this game that they were in with a strong chance. On a good batting pitch, 168 was the kind of chase that would require a very solid batting performance, and was certainly gettable. But the absence from their top order of Herschelle Gibbs, who injured his hamstring in the semi-final against the Melbourne Stars, hurt the Scorchers more than the loss of captain James Hopes (hamstring) did the Heat.
Marcus Stoinis, in his third match of the tournament, was asked to replace Gibbs at the top of the order and was undone by Roach's pace and bounce, when his top edge was brilliantly caught at third man by Hauritz. An even better outfield take from Hauritz got rid of Shaun Marsh, who on 16 pulled Ben Cutting and was caught when Hauritz leapt and snared the ball above his head at deep backward square leg.
The runs just weren't flowing for the Scorchers, who had started slowly against the offspin of Hauritz, who bowled the first over of the innings. At precisely the halfway point of the chase, Marcus North top-edged a pull off Daniel Christian and was caught for 24 off 23 balls and the Scorchers still needed a further 102 runs from their final 10 overs, which despite a fighting innings from Adam Voges, proved out of reach.
Nathan Coulter-Nile, sent up the order as a pinch-hitter, holed out on 16 to the part-time spin of Chris Lynn and provided Hauritz with a third catch, and batting at No.6 Michael Hussey couldn't conjure the magic required and was caught at long-off for 10. The Scorchers' remaining hopes ended when Roach picked up Simon Katich for a duck and Voges for 49 in the 18th over, both caught in the deep by Chris Sabburg.
As it turned out, the Heat had accumulated more than enough runs after choosing to bat. They had Joe Burns and Christian to thank for that, after the openers Luke Pomersbach and Peter Forrest made a steady but far from spectacular start. Jason Behrendorff got rid of both openers, Forrest for 17 off 16 balls and Pomersbach for 37 from 38, although Brad Hogg's tight spin-bowling had been a major factor in building the pressure that brought the wickets at the other end.
But Burns managed to lift the tempo and his innings of 43 from 27 balls was all the more frustrating for the Scorchers because he could have been out from the next delivery after Pomersbach fell. Burns pulled Behrendorff and the ball seemed destined to find Marsh at deep square leg, but the sun appeared to distract Marsh and he was unable even to get a hand on the ball, which then bounced away for four.
Burns eventually skied a catch to long-on from the bowling of Michael Beer but Christian was able to keep the boundaries flowing until he was bowled by Coulter-Nile in the second-last over for 37 from 21 balls. The Heat had picked up 48 runs in their final five overs, the kind of finish the Scorchers required later in the match. But unlike the Heat, they ran out of batting firepower.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here