The Brisbane Heat have knocked out the Sydney Thunder in a seven-wicket win at Manuka Oval in Canberra, setting up a Challenger match up with the Perth Scorchers despite the luck not going their way throughout the match.

In a season filled with controversial decisions, the Heat looked to have copped one of the more difficult ones when Marnus Labuschagne was run out for 32 off 30 balls.

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The Heat were 2/70 and barely going anywhere but Labuschagne was given out by the third umpire when his bat bounced as he dived to slide it in.

While he would have been out, Australian legend Ricky Ponting was left fuming as the vision showed the ball came out of Thunder keeper Sam Billings' gloves as he deflected it onto the stumps.

Speaking on Channel 7, Ponting questioned whether the third umpire could even make the decision with it so line ball.

"Did his bat get down? I'm not sure he got the bat down," Ponting began.

Then he realised the ball was out of the gloves.

"How can you possibly tell? He didn't even check that!" he said. "He has not even looked if the ball has broken the stumps first or the keeper's gloves has done it.

"What's knocked the bails off? The bail closest to his arm, the one that comes off first."

Sam Heazlett changed the game for the Heat, after Labuschagne was dismissed.
Sam Heazlett changed the game for the Heat, after Labuschagne was dismissed.

On Fox Cricket, Adam Gilchrist said: "I'm more interested in the arm of... I think the ball hits the stumps first. Whether the stump was broken by Sam Billings' arm."

Billings said it was part of the plan to deflect the ball onto the stumps rather than catch and break the stumps.

But it may have helped the Heat get going with Sam Heazlett teeing off.

He was 26 off 29 balls when Labuschagne got out, but he brought his 50 up off 37 balls as he started launching sixes. The pressure got to the Thunder as the bowlers line and length went haywire.

Jimmy Peirson and Heazlett notched a 50-run partnership from the next 22 balls, before seeing Brisbane home with a 92-run stand off just 43 balls.

Heazlett finished 74 not out off 49 balls while Peirson had 43 not out off 29 balls.

 

Mark Waugh slammed the Thunder bowlers throughout the second half of the innings as they "couldn't buy a yorker" with the game on the line.

"The Thunder would be disappointed, they've played pretty well all season, they probably played their worst game tonight, but give credit to the Heat," he said.

Earlier in the game, it looked like the luck could have been with the Thunder as Usman Khawaja survived a plumb LBW shout in the first over.

Khawaja appeared to be plumb in the first over.
Khawaja appeared to be plumb in the first over.

But the umpire, after a good long look, gave it not out to the Heat's disgust.

"It's Manuka, not the Gabba," one of the Heat players yelled out.

On Fox Cricket, Adam Gilchrist said Khawaja advancing at the bowler was probably what saved him but everyone else thought it was plumb.

On Seven, Ricky Ponting said: "You don't get much more out than that. The line of that looked absolutely spot on. It hit him low on the pad as well."

After losing Alex Hales early for eight, the Thunder couldn't get away with Khawaja dismissed for 28 off 30 balls.

Only cameos from Billings with a 24-ball 34 and Ben Cutting's 34 not out of 18 balls got the Thunder to 8/158.

The Thunder lost chunks of wickets, including 3/3 off seven balls in the middle order, only getting to the total thanks to Cutting's four sixes.

It's a disappointing loss for the Thunder but the Heat have now won three straight sudden death games and will face the Perth Scorchers in The Challenger with the winner to play the defending champion Sydney Sixers at the SCG next Saturday night.

2021 BBL FINALS

  • The Eliminator - Brisbane Heat (4th) defeat Adelaide Strikers (5th) by six wickets - read
  • The Qualifier - Sydney Sixers (1st) defeat Perth Scorchers (2nd) by nine wickets - read
  • The Knock Out - Brisbane Heat (4th) defeat Sydney Thunder (3rd) by seven wickets
  • The Challenger - Perth Scorchers (2nd) Vs Brisbane Heat (4th) @ Manuka Oval, Thursday February 4 at 7.15pm AEDT
  • The Final - Sydney Sixers (1st) Vs Winner of Challenger @ SCG, Saturday February 6 at 7.15pm AEDT

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as BBL controversy sparks thrilling comeback



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