Recent Match Report – Heat vs Strikers 40th Match 2022/23

Brisbane Heat 154 (Labuschagne 46, Conway 3-36) beat Adelaide Strikers 137 for 9 (Short 39, Bazley 3-30) by 17 runs

Brisbane Heat revived their struggling BBL season and spoiled the returns of Travis Head and Alex Carey with a 17-run victory over Adelaide Strikers in sweltering conditions.

After being sent in, under-pressure Heat patterned a modest 154 in temperatures nudging 40 degrees celsius at the Adelaide Oval.

But they bowled superbly with seamer James Bazley claiming three wickets to thwart Strikers’ star-studded batting order and sour former Heat star Chris Lynn’s final BBL match of the season.

It was the second time Heat beat Strikers this season to climb off the bottom of the ladder.

Johnson’s rapid pace again impresses

Tearaway Spencer Johnson was a shining light in Heat’s big home loss to Perth Scorchers with fiery bowling in his BBL debut.

There was an intrigue if the left-arm quick could back it up and Johnson did just that with a maiden over to start, where he hit speeds of 150kmh to fluster Lynn. So impressive was Johnson that Australian great Adam Gilchrist on the Fox broadcast likened the 27-year-old to his namesake Mitchell Johnson.

But Johnson, who played in the 50-over Marsh Cup previously for South Australia and was on Adelaide Strikers’ list last season, was brought back to earth in his next over by a typically fearless Lynn.

He returned in the 16th over amid the power surge and impressively held his nerve. Johnson then claimed his maiden BBL wicket with a perfect yorker to knock over Wes Agar to cap another fine performance.

Strikers’ star-studded batting order fail to fire

There was much anticipation over the return of skipper Head, whose belligerent Test batting against West Indies and South Africa seemingly had him primed for the BBL. But Head lasted just two balls after being bowled by left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann much to the disappointment of the home faithful.

New batter Lynn was keen to finish his strong first campaign with Strikers on a high and started with a gorgeous drive to the boundary off Kuhnemann. But he was bogged down by Johnson before falling to Kuhnemann for 22 off 24 balls. It was a disappointment for Lynn, who finished with 416 runs at a strike rate of 141 from 11 matches.

Returning from test duties, Alex Carey fell in the next over for just two and Strikers’ chase never recovered.

Labuschagne falls short of maiden BBL half-century

The returns of Test trio Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Renshaw and skipper Usman Khawaja failed to spark heat against Scorchers.

They hoped to cash in at the traditionally batting-friendly Adelaide Oval, but Khawaja fell for two in the third over before Labuschagne and Renshaw turned things around with a 42-run third-wicket partnership.

Renshaw looked in sweet touch, but for the second straight game couldn’t kick on. With inventiveness, including well executed scoops, Labuschagne anchored the innings as he eyed a maiden BBL half-century in his 19th match.

But he fell short and Heat struggled in the backend. English batter Sam Hain, who mostly grew up in Australia and played for their Under-19s side, was unluckily run out at the non-striker’s end after a touch from spinner Ben Manenti in his follow through. He made just six, but Heat had cobbled together a total that surprisingly proved more than enough.

Boyce winds back the clock

Former Australia T20 legspinner Cameron Boyce has proven a solid replacement for talisman Rashid Khan, who left to play in South Africa’s new T20 league.The 33-year-old had bowled well without reward in Strikers’ last two matches before making an impact on a slow surface offering some spin.

He came into the attack in the sixth over with Strikers under pressure from big-hitting opener Josh Brown. Boyce smartly took pace off the ball to lure Brown into a false shot for his first wicket of the season.

He then bowled well during the middle overs and broke a dangerous partnership between Renshaw and Labuschagne.

Boyce fortunately picked up the wicket of Renshaw with a half-tracker, but was rewarded after building pressure through mixing up his speed.

Having once been a much-hyped prospect, playing seven T20Is from 2014-16, Boyce’s career was derailed by injuries before he spectacularly re-emerged late last season with four wickets in four balls for Melbourne Renegades against Sydney Thunder.

It led to being recruited by Strikers, who wanted suitable cover for Rashid which has proven prophetic so far. After he finished his four-over spell, Boyce went off the ground with a suspected calf niggle and Strikers will be hoping it is not a serious injury.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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