Brisbane Heat 173 for 5 (Lynn 52, Labuschagne 49, Evans 3-34) beat Melbourne Renegades 147 (Harper 57, Steketee 3-41) by 26 runs
Brisbane Heat kept alive their hopes of reaching the finals with a hard-fought victory against out-of-contention Melbourne Renegades which included a bruising half-century from Chris Lynn and a valuable all-round display from Marnus Labuschagne.
The Heat fell away after a 78-run opening stand but Labuschagne's 49 off 31 balls helped provide some late impact with his most forceful innings of a still young T20 career. In what is a very tight mid-table, the Heat were able to secure the Bash Boost when the Renegades were behind at the 10-over mark of the chase.
Labuschagne then added the wicket of Sam Harper who had dominated the first part of the Renegades' chase with a powerful 57 off 32. When there had been a chance of the result getting close with 45 needed off the last four overs the Heat bowlers closed out the game very efficiently.
Lynn provides early muscle
Lynn was quickly out of the blocks, particularly against Josh Lalor who was taken for consecutive sixes in his second over, and after a quiet end to the powerplay against Peter Hatzoglou the fifth over from Zak Evans went for 15. Lynn brought up his fifty in the ninth over with a six over cover against Evans and with more than half the overs remaining there was plenty of time for him to make it three centuries in three days after Alex Carey and Alex Hales. However, next ball he picked out deep midwicket and when two deliveries later Max Bryant edged behind the Heat's innings started to lose its way.
Labuschagne revives innings
After the midway point of the innings there was a 36-ball period where the Heat did not find the boundary and lost wickets. Joe Denly was stumped off Imad Wasim and Joe Burns was bowled in the first over of the Power Surge by Hatzoglou. The two overs of fielding restrictions brought just 14 runs as the Heat struggled to lift the rate but then Labuschagne, who has passed 30 for the first time in T20s, found his stride with 15 coming from Hatzoglou's last over. In the next over, Labuschagne added another six as he scooped Evans over fine leg but one run short of a maiden fifty he fell to an attempted repeat.
Finch's run continues
It has been a forgettable BBL for Aaron Finch who has found a variety of unfortunate ways to be dismissed and it's a valid question to ask whether he would have been better off missing the last couple of games to give himself some more time at home before the New Zealand tour. On Saturday his innings ended in more conventional style when he was pinned by a brisk nip-backer from Mark Steketee which would have smashed all three. At least for Finch the fact the Renegades won't make finals means he should be able to see his own bed for a week or so before heading across the Tasman next month.
Heat hang in
At 2 for 91 in the 11th over with Harper having matched Lynn with a 29-ball fifty the Heat did not have much room for error to keep themselves in realistic contention of progressing. The game changed when Jake Fraser-McGurk sliced to Labuschagne at point who then took the ball and, after his first delivery was sent for six by Harper, found a top edge from a drag down that settled in Jimmy Peirson's gloves. The next four deliveries of the over were dots and Labuschagne's two overs would cost just 10. When Beau Webster fell to a very tight run-out call and Mackenzie Harvey picked out mid-off the Renegades were 6 for 106 and falling fast. However, Wasim and Jack Prestwidge took 16 off the first over of the Surge to keep things interesting before the last four wickets fell for 14. Mitchell Swepson bagged an impressive 2 for 26 from his four overs.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo