A Brisbane Heat outfit inspired by fill-in captain Jimmy Peirson tonight went tantalisingly close to pulling off one of the greatest comeback victories in Big Bash League history.
The Adelaide Strikers won the Gabba clash by two runs when Peirson could only manage a four off the last ball, instead of a six that would have sent the match to a super over.
But it was astounding the hosts got within such close range as they had crumbled to 8-68 in their pursuit of 151 to win.
Peirson, who was handed the Heat captaincy when superstar batsman Chris Lynn pulled his hamstring in the warm-up, walked to the middle at number seven and blasted an unbeaten 69 off 36 balls.
Superstar Brisbane Heat skipper Chris Lynn pulls hamstring in warm-up
The 28-year-old arrived at the crease in the ninth over with Brisbane’s score a woeful 5-37, and by the end of the game he had spearheaded his team to 9-148.
Nineteen-year-old Afghan tail-ender Mujeeb Ur Rahman gave the run-chase a boost in a blitz of 18 off 10 deliveries, which included two reverse-sweeps for four and a flush hit for six over long-on, all off the bowling of leg-spinning countryman Rashid Khan.
Peirson and Rahman combined for a record ninth-wicket partnership of 60.
But Adelaide’s early-innings carnage with the ball had set them up for victory, and astute Peter Siddle leadership late in the innings proved decisive.
Adelaide’s skipper brought himself back on to bowl and skittled Rahman’s stumps in his first over, soaking up a delivery, halting Brisbane’s momentum and sending the dangerous pinch-hitter back to the pavilion.
A second BBL match in as many days reignited the debate surrounding the absence of the decision review system when Heat batsman Tom Cooper copped an outrageous call from umpire Tony Wilds.
The veteran was given out off the bowling of Strikers spinner Danny Briggs despite having clearly hit the ball with his bat.
The horrendous decision followed that of umpire Simon Lightbody at Manuka Oval on Tuesday night, which saw Sydney Thunder batsman Usman Khawaja given not out despite having clearly nicked the ball through to Perth Scorchers wicketkeeper Josh Inglis.
Thunder-Scorchers BBL umpiring howler
If the DRS was used in not just international cricket but the BBL, both decisions would have undoubtedly been overturned.
Tonight’s win means the Strikers have climbed to third on the table, while the Heat are still winless and anchored to the bottom of the ladder.
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