In the 28th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21, Brisbane Heat will face Sydney Thunder at their home on January 2 (Saturday). The two teams will be facing each other for the second time this season. In the first meeting, Thunders have won the match comfortably.
But Brisbane Heat are coming off a victory against Strong Sydney Sixers by four wickets. The win would have surely given them much needed confidence to defeat the current table topper Sydney Thunder.
Here, let’s take a look at how Brisbane Heat’s playing XI might shape in:
Against Hobart Hurricanes, Max Bryant played a gun-blazing knock of 32 runs off 21 balls, scoring three four and one six. But he didn’t get the support from the other end as he also lost his wicket soon because of pressure. Similarly, in the last match against Syndey Sixers, Bryant registered his highest score of this season, i.e, 40 runs. He will have to give a good base to the team.
Joe Burns has returned to the Brisbane Heat after the Australia team released him from the ongoing Test series. He was an injury replacement in the Heat’s inaugural year and has played at least one BBL game in each of the ensuring 10 seasons. Burns will be looking to get good runs against Sydney Thunder to prove his case with the bat.
Against Hobart Hurricanes, the 25-year-old missed his half-century by two runs. He was out after scoring 48 runs off 27 balls, striking five sixes and one boundary. This knock is surely going to boost his confidence because, in the previous matches, he was struggling to score runs.
Against Sydney Sixers, Joe Denly scored just 19 runs in his maiden of the match of this BBL season. He is coming off a decent domestic tournament of England and will look to produce an impactful performance in the middle which Tim Copper has not been able to give. Apart from batting, he is also a useful bowling option.
Jimmy Peirson (c & wk):
The stand-in captain Jimmy Peirson almost pull off Brisbane Heat to victory against Adelaide Strikers. While chasing 151 runs target, he scored unbeaten 69 runs in 36 balls, striking seven fours and two giant sixes. He played a gun-blazing knock but will be disappointed that he could not take the game home as they lost the match by just two runs.
But finally, against Hobart Hurricanes, he stitched up a crucial partnership with James Bazley to seal the deal for Heat.
The all-rounder Lewis Gregory played the first match of the BBL against Hobart Hurricanes, which was the first meeting of Brisbane Heat with them. He picked up the early wickets of D’Arcy Short, Peter Handscomb and David Malan to halt them for setting a big target.
In the last match against Sydney Sixers, Gregory yielded an impressive batting performance, scoring 31 runs off 16 balls in which he struck two fours and two sixes.
With his impressive performance with the ball and bat, he proved that he should have been chance in the playing XI of Brisbane Heat from the very start.
Bazley made his debut for Brisbane Heat against Hobart Hurricanes. He stitched a match-winning partnership with the captain Jimmy Peirson to take the game home after the collapse of the middle-order. The all-rounder scored unbeaten 31 runs, striking two fours and three sixes.
In the second meeting with Hobart Hurricanes as well, he almost took the game. The heat needed two runs from one last ball and Steketee ran to grab a quick run to take the game super over. Although he reached the crease his bat was in the air and thus, was given out. And unfortunately, Bazley’s hard work went into vain but he remained not out for 49 runs.
The fast bowling allrounder Jack Wildermuth played his first match for Brisbane Heat against Sydney Thunders. He went on to play a rocket fueling knock though stayed for a shorter period in the field. Jack faced only 11 balls but struck four sixes and went on to score 31 runs.
Apart from batting, he was also economical and picked three wickets while gave away only 23 runs in his four overs quota. Against Hurricanes, he didn’t bat longer but was amazing with the ball. The franchise will want him to continue giving them success.
The right-arm pacer Mark Steketee, the 26-year-old pacer, didn’t feature in the first match of Brisbane Heat as he was playing for Australia A in warm-up games against India.
Like previous matches, he was not economical but gave the breakthroughs in the last match against Sydney Sixers. Mark took the wicket of Daniel Hughes, Carlos Brathwaite and Benjamin Manenti. The speedster just needs to learn the art of control the run rate.
Bartlett has given breakthroughs at crucial situations. He ticked all the boxes right to dismantle Adelaide Strikers batting attack. The pacer picked three wickets while gave away 24 runs in his four overs quota to halt them for 150 runs. This was the only second match for him in this season.
Against Hobart Hurricanes, he sent back D’Arcy Short for a duck while got the wicket of Tim David, who was looking to play a big knock. In the last match, after picking the wicket of Josh Phillippe, he went expensive. The speedster will bounce back stronger against Sydney Thunder.
Mujeeb ur Rahman:
Mujeeb ur Rahman registers his maiden five-wicket haul in BBL against Hobart Hurricanes in the second meeting but disappointingly, it could not end up in the winning cause. His majestic spell halted them to 150 but Brisbane Heat’s batsmen could not chase the target.
Against Sydney Sixers, he notched the crucial wicket of Jack Edwards and Daniel Christain. He will want to continue his good form in this season.