The Roar
The Roar


ANOTHER wild BBL batting collapse in Brisbane, but the Heat keep their heads to beat the Thunder

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27th December, 2023

Brisbane Heat have defied a horror collapse and a historic Daniel Sams spell to beat the Sydney Thunder by 15 runs and stay unbeaten in the Big Bash League.

The hosts were flying on Wednesday at the Gabba on the back of Nathan McSweeney’s (73 off 52) delightful innings, before they lost 7-16 to be all out for 172.

Sams took four wickets in his final over and finished with a career-best 5-30 to claim the Thunder’s first five-wicket haul.

Incredibly, it followed a four-wicket over that included a run-out in Sams’ last outing.  

Cameron Bancroft (46 off 39) was engineering the Thunder’s chase nicely but came undone in a decisive 14th over.


Calling for the power surge at 2-97, the opener was immediately dismissed as Xavier Bartlett (3-29) went for just three runs off the bat and a leg bye.

Ollie Davies, who would have been out second ball if Mitchell Swepson had reviewed an lbw shout, then threatened to play the decisive hand.

But Matthew Kuhnemann (2-25) out-foxed his man, sprinting for a sharp caught-and-bowled, and Sams was out in the next over.

A direct hit from Michael Neser then caught Nathan McAndrew just short to kill off any hope of a successful chase, the Thunder finishing the innings on 9-157.

Victory in front of 29,155 fans put the Heat clear on top of the ladder with four wins and a washed-out no result ahead of Perth, while the Thunder slipped to 1-3.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 04: Max Bryant of the Heat is congratulated by team mates after running out Stephen Eskinazi of the Scorchers during the Men's Big Bash League Final match between the Perth Scorchers and the Brisbane Heat at Optus Stadium, on February 04, 2023, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Brisbane Heat players celebrate a wicket. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Proud of how he “stuck to his guns and played normal cricket shots”, McSweeney lauded his side’s bowlers and, in particular, spinners Swepson and Kuhnemann.


“You always worry you might have left a few out there and I think we probably did,” he said.

“They’ve been awesome all year as well; we’ve got a really good bowling attack that has experience now and they’re showing it.”

The Heat were on track for an imposing total, McSweeney and Josh Brown (39 off 29) putting on 106 after Colin Munro was caught at deep square leg for a golden duck.

Cameos from Matt Renshaw and Sam Billings moved them to 3-156 before the rot set in, Sams’ changes of pace making the Heat’s lower order look foolish.

The allrounder was unlucky not to jag a hat-trick with Swepson’s mistimed slog falling just short of the bowler’s feet.

The Thunder fell into the same trap though, Brisbane’s spinners triggering a 29-ball period without a boundary before the wickets tumbled.

Thunder captain Chris Green regretted not giving spinner Tanveer Sangha a fourth over.


“It’s probably one thing I’ll lose a bit of sleep over,” he said.

“Who knows what happens … you have to trust your gut and hope it pays off.”