Burns in the runs, Heat top Thunder in BBL

Murray Wenzel
·2-min read

Axed Test opener Joe Burns released the shackles with a match-winning innings for the Brisbane Heat as they kept in touch with the BBL's top five and snapped the Sydney Thunder's five-game winning streak.

Dropped ahead of this week's Sydney Test after a horror run of form, Burns (52 off 38) seized control after Chris Lynn's (30 off 16) exit as they chased down the Thunder's 8-174 with five balls and five wickets to spare on Monday.

Burns peppered the long-on boundary with two early sixes at the Gabba then batted with composure to earn the Heat (3-4) a second-straight win after making just one in his BBL return on Saturday.

As Lynn departed following his injection into the game as an X-factor after missing four games with a hamstring injury, Burns and Joe Denly (50 off 36) ensured they collected all four points with a 90-run partnership.

"It's relief just to get a few away to the boundary personally, but to get the result as well," Burns said.

"You can't doubt yourself ... You'd like to think it never leaves you. It's not about coming back (into form).

"I'm realistic - batting in the middle order of a T20 game is very different to opening against a red ball.

"But it is nice to feel the ball hit the middle of the bat and look up at the scoreboard and think about the match situation. It's a nice feeling."

Earlier Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2-26) put the breaks on the Thunder's promising start, collecting two tough catches and a run-out as well as taking the key scalps of Alex Hales (46) and Callum Ferguson (35).

Daniel Sams (37) tormented the Heat for the second time in three weeks, joining former Heat allrounder Ben Cutting (24) to boost the Thunder's total.

Cutting was booed in his return to the Gabba after nine seasons with the Heat but shrugged it off as he and Sams took 20 off the 18th over.

Sams was hit on the helmet during his innings and, despite batting on, was substituted out at the break with concussion symptoms.

"(Mujeeb) bowled on that wicket really nicely, but we were in a really good position to accelerate late," Thunder captain Callum Ferguson said.

"We felt like we had a total that was a winning total, but we just weren't at our best with the ball."

The victory means the Sydney Sixers remain on top of the ladder ahead of the Thunder, while the Heat jump the Perth Scorchers into sixth, one point behind Adelaide Strikers.

And it sets up a crucial clash with the Melbourne Stars on Thursday on the Gold Coast after the Stars moved into fourth after collecting maximum points in their upset of Hobart Hurricanes earlier on Monday.