Heat to play off for final spot after eliminating Renegades
BRISBANE Heat will play off against the Sydney Sixers for a spot in the BBL|12 final on Thursday, after defeating the Melbourne Renegades by seven wickets at Marvel Stadium. Victorious captain Usman Khawaja (59) showed his class to help chase down the home side’s 5-162 and become the leading BBL finals run-scorer.
The result is a bittersweet one for the Heat, who remain in the hunt for their second title, but will lose the remainder of their Australian Test squad members for the Challenger clash in Sydney. Showcasing their importance to the cause, Internationals Marnus Labuschagne (23) and Matt Renshaw (27*) played key hands alongside their skipper.
Recent revelation Josh Brown (39) put on 75 for the first wicket with Khawaja, and the Heat looked on song for a straightforward chase until the latter fell alongside Labuschagne in the first over of the power surge. Steely as ever, Renshaw picked up where they left off to guide the Heat home and set up a third away trip in as many postseason games.
After qualifying for the first time since their title-winning BBL|08 campaign, the Renegades ended up one and done in this season’s finals. That wasn’t for a lack of trying, with veteran Shaun Marsh carrying his bat for 82 off 53 balls. He briefly tied Moises Henriques for the mantle of leading finals run scorer, until Khawaja surpassed them both in the chase.
The likes of Sam Harper (22) and Matthew Critchley (23) offered support, though the Heat were served well by seamers Xavier Bartlett (3-18) and Michael Neser (2-33) in response. The former’s efforts marked a successful return to the side. For Melbourne, Tom Rogers was the pick of the bowlers with 2-33.
RESULT: Brisbane Heat (3-164) def. Melbourne Renegades (5-162) by 7 wickets.
POTM: Xavier Bartlett (Brisbane Heat)
TOSS: Brisbane Heat won the toss and elected to bowl.
Shaun Marsh 82* (53), Matthew Critchley 23 (18), Sam Harper 22 (21)
Tom Rogers 2-33 (3.5), David Moody 1-24 (3)
Usman Khawaja 59 (47), Josh Brown 39 (27), Matthew Renshaw 27* (13)
Xavier Bartlett 3-18, Michael Neser 2-33, Spencer Johnson 0-23