The score: Sydney Thunder 8-174 (Hales 46, Sams 37; Mujeeb 2-26) lost to Brisbane Heat 5-175 (Burns 52, Denly 50; Sangha 3-40) by five wickets with five balls to spare
The points: Heat 4, Thunder 0
The heroes: Forget The Bash Bros, and meet instead The Joe Bros! Messrs Burns and Denly might not put quite as many bums on seats as their predecessors but they were ruthlessly efficient when it mattered for the Heat tonight, as their 90-run stand for the third wicket proved the game's most decisive partnership. In his second BBL outing, Denly – the Heat's third English import of the summer – was composed and looked very much the part in putting together an even 50 from 36 balls. Test discard Burns meanwhile, would be happy to finally hit the headlines for the right reasons after a difficult summer with the bat. Tonight however, he exemplified the old maxim about the permanency of class, finding his feet with a delightful lofted straight drive for four, hammering a six over long-on, and most importantly, seeing his side to within touching distance of victory and a crucial four points.
The X-Factor: It probably wasn't designed for this purpose but the Heat's decision to use Chris Lynn as an X-Factor was a canny one; the regular skipper is still recovering from a hamstring injury, and his selection as the 10-over sub meant he was spared 10 overs in the field while spinner Matt Kuhnemann (0-11) was utilised as an extra bowling option for one over. True to type, Lynn blazed a quick-fire 30 from 16 balls, while one particularly large six confirmed the King of the Gabba was back and put the Heat on the front foot in their run chase.
The moment: In the 15th over, Denly took young Thunder leggie Tanveer Sangha through the midwicket region for 6, 6, 4. But he had a serious slice of luck along the way; Chris Green looked well set to catch the first six until he evidently lost the ball in the floodlights, and ended up almost jumping out of the way. For the first time in the run chase, the required rate was at fewer than a run a ball (31 from 32) and though Denly departed next ball, and his compatriot Lewis Gregory went the next, the Heat never looked like losing from that point forward.
The consolation effort: Alex Hales looks in awesome touch. The big-hitting Englishman had hit three sixes and as many fours when he was deceived by Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2-26) and caught at short third man for 46 from 26 balls. Had he stayed at the crease much longer, this could well have been a different outcome.
The concussion sub: Daniel Sams copped a nasty blow to the helmet from a Jack Wildermuth short ball during his whirlwind 37 from 18 balls. He shook it off and batted on after being assessed by medical staff, but was ruled out of the rest of the match at the change of innings after showing concussion symptoms. Given the Thunder only had their bowling innings to come, Chris Tremain was named as his like-for-like replacement.
The stat: Sangha (3-40) is now the owner of the golden cap for the most wickets (13) in BBL|10 to date.
The globes: Veteran Usman Khawaja and youngster Ollie Davies are two of the most watchable batters in the competition so it was a disappointment for the neutrals that the Thunder pair contributed precisely zero runs between them – both were out for second-ball ducks.
The next stops: Both sides are in action again on Thursday, the Thunder take on the Hurricanes in Perth, and the Heat play the late game against the Stars on the Gold Coast.