Stunning Silk catch turns match for Sixers
Sydney Sixers 8 for 140 (Lumb 56, Gannon 4-24) beat Brisbane Heat 7 for 136 (Kieswetter 38, Lee 2-22) by 4 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Jordan Silk might be more red-ball batsman than Twenty20 slogger, but his fielding was dazzling enough to turn the match for the Sydney Sixers, who held on by four runs against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba. Silk pulled off what may be the Big Bash League's best catch of all time when he dived to his left at mid-on and intercepted a sizzling Craig Kieswetter slap that seemed certain to burn away to the boundary, as the Heat chased 141.
At the time, Kieswetter was on 38 and well set, with 43 runs still needed off 33 deliveries and six wickets in hand, and it appeared that the below-par target set by the Sixers would be easily overhauled. But Silk's stunning take, which Viv Richards compared on commentary to the work of a baseball shortstop without a glove, ended Kieswetter's innings and the Heat never regained the momentum they required.
It was perhaps a tactical error for them to send Chris Sabburg and James Hopes in ahead of the cleaner striker Ben Cutting, for Sabburg and Hopes dealt largely in singles before Hopes was run out from the last ball of the 19th over. Cutting came to the crease with 20 needed off the last over but was unable to gain or retain enough of the strike against Josh Hazlewood, and when he came on strike with two balls left, 11 were needed.
Cutting then reminded the Heat of what he could have done had he been deployed earlier, lifting a Hazlewood half-volley over long-off for six to leave five required off the last ball. Another slap down the ground looked like it might clear the long-off boundary again, but the Sixers captain Moises Henriques took the catch a few metres inside the rope to consign the Heat to their third consecutive defeat.
The Heat really should have won, given the efforts of Cameron Gannon (4 for 24) and his colleagues in restricting the Sixers to 8 for 140 after Hopes sent them in to bat. Michael Lumb was the only Sixers batsman who really got going and his 56 from 42 deliveries ended when his leading edge off Cutting was caught by Hopes at point, but too many of the batsmen threw their wickets away.
Kieswetter and Chris Lynn put on 63 for the Heat's fourth wicket to deliver them to within striking distance of the victory but Man of the Match Brett Lee was able to remove them both in the same over to change the flow of the game. Lynn was bowled for 34, done by Lee's pace, before Kieswetter used that same speed to thump Lee into the outstretched hand of Silk.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here