The Brisbane Heat are in their second KFC BBL Final, with Michael Neser holding his nerve to beat the Sydney Sixers in a low-scoring thriller at the SCG.
Matt Kuhnemann, who filled in for India-bound Australian leggie Mitchell Swepson, was the star with the ball as the Heat limited the Sixers to 9-116 in the Challenger final after the hosts elected to bat first.
The Heat lost 3-10 after racing to 31 in the fourth over after Sam Heazlett and Josh Brown hit the only sixes of the night on a surface that became increasingly difficult to bat on as the shine wore off the ball.
Prior to Neser’s stunning Power Surge assault, the Heat batters were finding it difficult as Steve O’Keefe and Izharulhaq Naveed (2-28) took advantage of favourable spinning conditions.
Izharulhaq Naveed took a summer-salting catch to dismiss Sam Hain for eight runs off his own bowling. Here’s the catch on video:
Naveed with a special caught and bowled!
How big is that going to be?! #GoldenMoment @BKTtires | #BBL12 pic.twitter.com/u6TFuVNrcy
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 2, 2023
As the Heat won by four wickets with 10 balls to spare, Neser finished unbeaten on 48 from 32 deliveries, the highest score of the match and his highest T20 score.
Earlier, the Sixers struggled to bat on a difficult surface, averaging 25 runs less batting first this season than last.
Kuhnemann struck with his first ball of the game, with Philippe gloving a delivery through to wicketkeeper Peirson and having to leave for 16 after the not out decision was overturned on review.
He also took the crucial wicket of opposition skipper Moises Henriques (4) plumb lbw in his next over, and he picked up his third in the 13th over, with Sixers top-scorer Daniel Hughes (23) departing to leave the Sixers struggling at 5-76.
They never recovered, managing only 9-116 from their 20 overs.
They will now travel to Perth tomorrow to face an intimidating Scorchers team that is chasing an unprecedented fifth BBL title on Saturday.
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