The match in a tweet: Englishman Banton upstages Brisbane Heat’s chief basher Lynn with whirlwind half-century to lead Heat to win in rain-shortened #BBL09 match in Sydney
The Score: Brisbane Heat 4-119 from eight overs (Banton 56, Lynn 31; Sams 2-24) defeated Sydney Thunder 4-60 from five overs (Prestwidge 2-15, Zahir 1-7) by 16 runs on the DLS method
The Hero: Tom Banton unleashed a brutal display of power hitting to lift Brisbane Heat to consecutive KFC BBL victories as he treated the assembled crowd at Sydney Showground Stadium to a performance they are unlikely to forget in a hurry. The 21-year-old Englishman arrived at the Heat with a reputation as one of the brightest young talents in the T20 format and had a mixed start to the tournament which included a bout of illness. But with the match against Sydney Thunder reduced to eight overs, he muscled seven sixes, including five in one over (more on that below), in an extraordinary knock of 56 from 19 balls. The onslaught resulted in the second fastest half-century in BBL history, Banton reaching the milestone from 16 balls. He started with a six and two fours from the first three balls of the innings and continued to feast on the Thunder’s attack in an exhilarating hand as he put on 90 in five overs with skipper Chris Lynn to set the platform for a big total.
The Big Over: Banton wasted no time tucking into the Thunder’s bowlers after the match was reduced, clearing the boundary rope FIVE times in a row off the bowling of Arjun Nair in the fourth over of his team’s innings. After scores of 16, 64, 7 and 8 to start BBL|09, Banton’s big hitting was on full display in an action-packed knock.
The Supporting Cast: With only 48 balls to face, Lynn promoted himself to open in place of Max Bryant and hammered a quick-fire 31 from 13 balls (three boundaries, two sixes) as he played second fiddle to the red-hot Banton. While the Heat only sent down five overs, Jack Prestwide (2-15), Zahir Khan (1-7) and Ben Laughlin (1-16) all boosted their wicket tallies.
The Rain: Play was delayed by 103 minutes after Sydney received some much-needed rain. After the Heat received their full allotment of eight overs, the visitors sent down 2.1 overs before players were taken from the field after another shower hit. The Thunder then resumed a 1-22 chasing a revised target of 77 with 17 balls remaining. But the task proved too great to overcome.
The Consolation Act: Given his side leaked almost 15 runs an over, Sams’ return of 2-24 from two overs amid the carnage (which came after he conceded 14 from his first three balls) was commendable as he took his season tally to 14 wickets at 13.28 apiece and retained the BKT Golden Arm Cap for the competition’s leading wicket-taker. He is three clear of injured Sydney Sixers paceman Sean Abbott, who has 11 wickets at 13.45.
The Big Moment/s: In-form Thunder skipper Callum Ferguson and Usman Khawaja were key as their team faced a daunting run chase. But Khawaja (11) was knocked over by Zahir in the second over, while Ferguson (5) also departed cheaply as he was dismissed by experienced campaigner Ben Laughlin from the first ball after the second rain delay, with the Thunder’s faint hopes of victory washed away.
The Shot: Banton’s reverse sweep from the third ball of the innings simply deserves another look (and perhaps a few more)!
The Revival: With South Africa champion AB de Villiers arriving soon and two consecutive wins in the bank, the Heat are slowly coming together after a patchy start to BBL|09. While the shortened match certainly suited them given their array of power hitters, wins over the Hobart Hurricanes and Thunder have also given them a much-needed shot in the arm after they were one of the fancied teams before the tournament started.
The Next Stops: The Brisbane Heat host the Hobart Hurricanes at the Gabba on Thursday.
Thunder XI: Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Matthew Gilkes (wk), Alex Ross, Chris Morris, Daniel Sams, Chris Green, Arjun Nair, Chris Tremain, Brendan Doggett
Heat XI: Tom Banton, Max Bryant, Chris Lynn (c), Matthew Renshaw, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Ben Cutting, Jack Prestwidge, Mitch Swepson, Josh Lalor, Ben Laughlin, Zahir Khan