18th over: Heat 147-3 (Heazlett 65, Peirson 37)
Sams gets this over off to a better start with a handy dot, but a few dots here and there are no longer the worry they were earlier in the innings. A single from Heazlett and then a lovely little cut from Peirson off a wider ball from Sams finds the gap and the boundary and they’re back to cruise mode. Good fielding from Khawaja gets another dot ball and then Peirson guides the next one for two. They finish with another two with great running. Over on Twitter Craig makes an excellent point about the Thunder’s trouble with yorkers at the death here.
17th over: Heat 138-3 (Heazlett 64, Peirson 29)
Milne is the one to take the second power surge over and Peirson pays him no regard at all with a clean strike for six over deep mid wicket from a yorker that didn’t quite hit its mark. Milne continues to struggle with his yorkers, but Ferguson comes to the rescue with a brilliant fielding effort to cut it off from going to the boundary. He can’t do anything about the next ball though, as Milne offers up a knee high full toss that Peirson happily dispatches for four. He tries a shorter one next ball with some success, but it looks like a desperate option when what is really needed is a wicket. They hold it for another single off the last, but it’s not looking good for the Thunder.
16th over: Heat 124-3 (Heazlett 62, Peirson 17)
The Heat take the power surge and Sams is the one to try to swing this game back in the Thunder’s favour. Peirson and Heazlett are well settled and will look to really take control of this game in the next two overs. A single off the first ball is followed up with a wider second ball that Heazlett squeezes away for four, followed by another. He’s really stepped up and the Heat look well and truly in the box seat. Sams is saved next ball by some great fielding from the stumps, otherwise it would have been sailing away for another four. He doesn’t take advantage of his luck though and lets go of a very loose full toss next ball that is smacked away for four. A dot to finish gives him some confidence, but the next surge over will need to be a better one for the Thunder.
15th over: Heat 108-3 (Heazlett 50, Peirson 13)
A no ball to start Doggett’s over and then he misses his yorker for a full toss off the free hit, but Peirson can’t get it away and it’s caught by a fielder on the boundary – for no wicket of course. Heat bring up the hundred and are closing in on the run rate and then Heazlett comes up with another six, looking like a totally different player since Labuschagne’s dismissal. He brings up his 50 with a single off the next ball, his second of the season. WinViz has taken the Heat back to favourites for the match and the pressure goes back on to Thunder. Those singles to turn over the strike are looking more deliberate and confident now.
14th over: Heat 96-3 (Heazlett 40, Peirson 12)
Green comes back into the attack and starts well to Peirson, with a handy three dots, they’ll take as many of those as they can manage from here. But then he loses his grip and gives away a full toss, which Peirson delights in sending for six with a lovely slog sweep over deep square leg. Green pulls back again and finishes with another dot and a two.
13th over: Heat 88-3 (Heazlett 40, Peirson 4)
Now that Marnus has gone, Heazlett seems to have remembered his job and smashes his first six of the innings. Peirson plays his role in support and it’s shaping as a decent over for the Heat. Heazlett finishes it off with another stunning six and the Thunder will need to find a way to stifle him soon now that he’s opened up.
12th over: Heat 70-3 (Heazlett 27, Peirson 0)
Sams returns to the attack and Heazlett shapes ramp him straight up, but Sams takes the pace off the ball and the opportunity isn’t there. The next shot is better from Heazlett and he snares his first boundary of the match – he’ll need to build from here if he wants to get the Heat back into it. He’s creeping closer to a run a ball, but needs to go past that quite soon. A nice ball for the fourth of the over cramps him up and he can only manage a single. Sams follows up with a dot from another slower ball and then a bouncer, which results in a run out.
WICKET! Labuschagne run out (Green) 32 (Heat 70-3)
There wasn’t really two in that but Marnus knew they had to get moving. It was closer than it looked in the end, but Marnus couldn’t get his bat down and the shadow underneath gave it away.
11th over: Heat 62-2 (Heazlett 19, Labuschagne 31)
Sangha returns after the break and the message from coach Lehmann has been to start smacking the ball around. Heazlett gives it a try and is showing more intent, but he can’t get it past the field for a boundary. It’s clever bowling from Sangha knowing the desperation of the Heat batters is building. He finishes with a wider one, adding to the frustration.
10th over: Heat 56-2 (Heazlett 15, Labuschagne 29)
Doggett comes back into the attack – after taking one of the big hitters in his first over, he’d dearly love to get the other one before the mid-innings break. Heazlett can’t even get the ball away to get off strike though, it’s a good start from Doggett. Heazlett scrambles for two off the third ball of the over, but a good throw would have seen him gone. Doggett returns to usual programming with another dot and then a catching opportunity that flies over third for a single. Another single finishes the over and the Thunder go into the short break feeling a lot more confident than they would have at the innings break.
9th over: Heat 52-2 (Heazlett 12, Labuschagne 28)
Green comes back after letting just three go from his first over, but Marnus is sick of singles and cuts for four off the first ball of the over. He tries to do the same second ball, but can only manage a two. Cutting stops the third ball from getting more than one run, but he takes his time getting up and looks a little uncomfortable, we’ll keep an eye on that. Green looks to put the pressure back on and tightens up the end of the over, but gave away 10 from it.
8th over: Heat 42-2 (Heazlett 9, Labuschagne 21)
Sangha returns for his second over and Heazlett plays one uppishly to start, but it lands safely. Much like the Thunder earlier, the Heat keep turning the strike over, but can’t quite get it through the field for big runs. As annoying as it is, maybe the old cliche is right and you can’t judge a pitch until both teams have batted on it. The last 17 runs scored by the Heat have all been singles.
7th over: Heat 36-2 (Heazlett 6, Labuschagne 18)
Cutting comes on for his first over after an important batting performance already tonight. Marnus is still ticking along at a run a ball, but he has the ability to accelerate quickly if he can stay in. A beautiful slower ball on the fifth ball of the over is very unlucky to miss the stumps, Heazlett isn’t looking sure of himself at all. Just four from the over keeps the required run rate pushing up.
6th over: Heat 32-2 (Heazlett 4, Labuschagne 16)
Marnus is clearly as big an Usman Khawaja fan as I am because he gets in on the undies adjusting action to start this over. It’s the first over for young sensation Tanveer Sangha, who has recently been named in Australia’s white ball squad to tour NZ next month. He continues with the stifling performance the Thunder bowlers have started with as neither batter can get him away for more than a single. He almost snares a wicket off the last ball of the over, but the umpire isn’t interested in the LBW appeal.
5th over: Heat 28-2 (Heazlett 2, Labuschagne 14)
One of the Thunder’s glamour boys is up to bowl next, as Chris Green comes in for his first over. He starts it well and looks to frustrate Heazlett with a lack of opportunity for scoring. Eventually Heazlett gets one through the circle and looks relieved to get off strike with a single. Green adjusts his field for Marnus and again only lets a single through. Another single off the last ball and it’s a lovely start from Green.
4th over: Heat 25-2 (Heazlett 0, Labuschagne 13)
Milne is back after a great first over, from the other end this time. A bit of drama on the first ball as overthrows send the batters looking for a third run, but Milne and Heazlett collide to put an end to that idea. A little edge from Marnus almost carries to Sangha, but gets through him for a lucky four. That gives him some confidence and he plays a nice back foot shot for a more conventional four the next ball. While Marnus remains at the crease, the Heat look to be in the driver’s seat. The final ball of the power play is a dot and it’s fairly tight one from the Thunder bowling attack.
3rd over: Heat 15-2 (Heazlett 0, Labuschagne 3)
Doggett gets his opportunity now, after a handy little cameo with the bat at the end in support of Ben Cutting. Lynn’s had enough of sitting on 0 and pulls the trigger for a six off the first ball of Doggett’s over. To his credit, Doggett tidies it up on the next ball and slides it in between bat and pad to the keeper. But Lynn won’t be stopped and cuts the next one past deep point for four. But Doggett isn’t fazed and forces Lynn to sky the ball straight to Hales on the next delivery and the danger man for the Heat is gone. He finishes with a dot and a single for a nice over.
WICKET! Lynn b Doggett c Hales 10 (Heat 14-2)
After smacking a few quick runs, Lynn mistimes one off Doggett and skies it straight to Hales. The Heat are looking a little nervous here.
2nd over: Heat 4-1 (Lynn 0, Labuschagne 2)
Sams comes in now, returning from injury and hoping to do a bit better with his bowling than he did with his batting. He starts it nicely with a length ball for a dot, followed by another dot and then a sensational wicket. The Marnus Labuschagne theme music starts up again and Marnus grabs a couple of quick runs to get off the mark and avoid a maiden in the power play but can’t score off the last ball of the over.
WICKET! Denly b Sams 0 (Heat 2-1)
Sams absolutely crushes it on his return, with a beautiful ball to beat Denly and knock over leg stump.
1st over: Heat 2-0 (Lynn 0, Denly 0)
Adam Milne looks to make up for his diamond duck disappointment by opening the bowling and gets a nice dot ball to start the over, Thunder will want plenty of those. He gets a second one next ball, but it won’t be panic stations for the Heat yet, they’ll feel confident chasing this fairly low total. A wide off the next ball opens up some more opportunities for the Heat and brings Lynn on to strike as Billings can’t quite stop the ball getting away. Milne bowls a beautiful slower ball to bamboozle Lynn and then a nice inswinging yorker. Lynn defends away the next ball and Milne finishes with a bouncer and another dot.
Sydney Thunder 158-8
Certainly not the Thunder’s best batting innings as they struggled to really tee off and get any big partnerships going. Cutting proved his worth at the end and got them to a vaguely defendable total, but they will need to bowl exceptionally well and look to knock over the big hitting Lynn and Labuschagne early if they’re to be in with a chance and keep the dream of an all-Sydney final at the SCG alive.
20th over: Thunder 158-8 (Cutting 34, Doggett 10)
Morkel comes back for the final over with Thunder desperate to score some big runs. The big hitting Cutting is on strike to start and he hits it hard down the ground to start and could have got a single, but he’s not interested in getting off strike here. He then gives us his best Laura Geitz impression to really turn up the dramatics and get a wide call off the second ball, throwing his body around to watch it sail past him to the keeper. A yorker gone wrong gifts Cutting a full toss that he happily smacks for six. Morkel changes it up next ball and drags it back with a dot with a big swing and miss from Cutting. A nice wider ball next provides another dot and Cutting starts to look a little frustrated. But not for long, as he pulls a hard, flat six off the very next ball. Morkel nails the yorker on the last ball and Cutting can only take a single from it.
19th over: Thunder 144-8 (Cutting 22, Doggett 10)
It’s surge time! One thing I think CA could have worked a lot harder at is coming up with a far sillier umpire signal for the power surge, they really let an opportunity go begging there. A wicket off the first ball of the over and then a close call for LBW, followed by a run out has all kinds of drama happening here. Doggett comes in and smacks a four first ball off a full toss and then gets away with one that goes high but lands safely. He follows that up with a ramp for a one bounce four to get Cutting on strike to start the final over.
WICKET! Milne run out Steketee 0 (Thunder 134-8)
A diamond duck for poor old Milne to complete a team hat trick for the Heat – Cutting ran when he really shouldn’t have.
WICKET! Green c Burns b Steketee 2 (Thunder 134-7)
Green has to get off strike, so he does his best, but it’s straight to Joe Burns and Steketee is now on a hat trick.
18th over: Thunder 134-6 (Cutting 22, Green 2)
Here comes Morkel for his third over, no power surge yet, so they’ll be the last two overs it seems. Cutting takes him on right away, but can’t get it past the fielder and has to settle for one. Green does his job and guides a little single to short extra cover to turn the strike over. A wide from the third ball and then Cutting gets impatient and sends a ball flying over the roof and towards Mount Ainslie and a replacement ball needs to be brought in. Morkel again drags it back with a dot the next two balls. Cutting steps away and times the ball well off the last ball, taking two before the start of the power surge.
17th over: Thunder 123-6 (Cutting 13, Green 1)
Marnus is back for his final over, with spin proving a big winner for the Heat tonight. It’s all on Cutting’s shoulders now with Green looking to provide some strong support for him. Cutting takes on the bowler midway through the over and guides it past cover for a much-needed four. He follows it up with a big six over long on, which is again dropped in the crowd, Canberrans aren’t big on catching it seems. Marnus reels it back in with a dot ball and Cutting finishes with a single.
16th over: Thunder 110-6 (Cutting 1, Green 0)
Swepson back into the attack now with the Thunder left wondering when to take their power surge, it probably would have been this over had Billings remained at the crease. Sams starts with a single and Ross still doesn’t look like he’s in a hurry to get going despite the urgency of the situation. The dangerous Sams is gone early and Ross will have to push on, with Cutting providing support. But Ross can’t manage it and is gone off the last ball of the over.
WICKET! Ross lbw Swepson 9 (Thunder 110-6)
It looks almost like a replay of Sams’ dismissal and Ross has to go without ever really looking like he was there, a disappointing effort.
WICKET! Sams lbw Swepson 1 (Thunder 109-5)
Big, big trouble for the Thunder now, as Sams has often been the one to get them out of trouble in these situations. A good ball from Swepson and he’s gone for just one run.
15th over: Thunder 107-4 (Ross 8, Sams 0)
A swing and a miss from Ross to start Laughlin’s third over and then he grabs a quick single. Billings has started to tee off, with consecutive fours past helpless fielders – he’s realised the urgency of the situation. Unfortunately for the Thunder he’s gone off the next ball and Ross blocks out the last ball of the over as Daniel Sams joins him at the crease.