Lynn fashions improbable Brisbane Heat victory
Brisbane Heat 7 for 152 (Lynn 81, Hogg 3-21) beat Perth Scorchers 7 for 151 (M Marsh 57*) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Chris Lynn, a man for a crisis.
No matter the format, the 23-year-old continues to deliver. On Sunday, he steered the reigning Big Bash League champions home from an improbable position in the first match of their title defence.
Again his partner in this highway robbery was Ben Cutting. In the Ryobi Cup final in October, playing for Queensland at North Sydney Oval, the pair came together needing 61 from 40 balls. They got home unscathed with five balls to spare.
At the Gabba on this night, playing for the Brisbane Heat, Cutting joined Lynn needing 28 runs from the last 15 balls, and although Lynn fell to a spectacular leaping catch from the ageless Brad Hogg on the deep midwicket boundary as he searched for the winning blow, Cutting finished the job one ball later to ensure Lynn's extraordinary innings was rewarded with victory.
The match swung on one key moment in the 15th over of the chase. The Heat required 57 from 35 balls with Nathan Coulter-Nile bowling to Lynn on 46. His hook shot flew flat and hard to Michael Beer at fine leg. It was in Beer's grasp for a brief moment, but on the grass the next. Lynn launched the last three balls of the over into the stands to run salt into Coulter-Nile's raw wound.
Hogg nearly arrested the momentum, bamboozling both James Hopes and Daniel Vettori in his next two overs with a slider and a wrong 'un. But Cutting and Lynn held their nerve to deliver an amazing win.
The Scorchers themselves looked out of the game early after winning the toss and electing to bat. They were 6 for 95 with five overs remaining in their innings before Mitchell Marsh unleashed brutal display of ball-striking on Alistair McDermott. He had earlier pinched the wicket of Simon Katich with an undetected no-ball and Marsh exacted some revenge pounding three fours and a six in McDermott's last two overs to finish with 57 not out and guide the Scorchers to a very defendable total.
And when Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff tore through the Heat's top order with some very impressive fast bowling, the Scorchers seemed destined to atone for last year's final defeat.
But Lynn had the last laugh yet again.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth