They say you should lead by example, but this is probably not what Darren Lehmann had in mind. The Brisbane Heat dropped a number of catches in their loss to the Sydney Sixers in the BBL on Friday night - and the coach wasn't immune.
Daniel Hughes flicked a beautiful shot over the backward square-leg boundary at Heritage Bank Stadium on the Gold Coast, sending the ball straight towards the Heat dug-out. Brisbane coach Lehmann was in perfect position to take a catch, and lined it up all the way into his hands.
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The only problem was it burst straight through his mitts and he grassed it, a rather embarrassing moment for one of the best cricketers Australia has ever produced. It came after Moises Henriques was dropped twice in the same over off Michael Neser when he was on 20 and 21 - once by wicket-keeper Jimmy Peirson and then in the outfield by Matt Renshaw.
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"They've all got the butter fingers at the moment the Heat," Mike Hussey said in commentary for Fox Sports about Lehmann's drop. "Straight through the hands...he's normally pretty safe."
Henriques made the Heat pay for the back-to-back drops, going on to make 59 off 50 in a 94-run third-wicket stand with Hughes (42 off 33). The partnership helped the Sixers make 8-152 after being asked to bat first on a pitch that proved rather two-paced.
Ben Dwarshuis the star for Sixers in win over Brisbane Heat
In response, the Heat never managed to get going and were bumbled out for just 113. Ben Dwarshuis claimed 5-21 off 3.5 overs in another brilliant display this season, earning man-of-the-match honours.
Speaking afterwards, the left-armer credited a stint with the Australian T20 team in India late last year for his purple patch in form. The 29-year-old's figures were his best in 105 career BBL games, and came after he played two T20 internationals for Australia in December - taking five wickets.
He finished the regular season with 16 wickets - the second most in the BBL behind Xavier Bartlett's 17. "In India, I just think how calm the environment is in the Aussie set-up at the moment was really nice," Dwarshuis said.
"It was easy to slide in and be clear on your roles and execute. Going to India, who are the powerhouses of T20 cricket, and putting in a few good performances there a few weeks out from the BBL let me start the tournament with plenty of confidence. Fortunately, I've been able to keep that form going. One more game, and hopefully it keeps going."
The Sixers host the BBL final on Wednesday night at the SCG, despite not having a single player named in the team of the tournament. Dwarshuis said the snub was a reflection of the culture captain Henriques and coach Greg Shipperd have built.
"We don't have anyone in the team of the tournament, but if there was a second or third team of the tournament most of our squad would be in there," Dwarshuis said. "We are a team where everybody stands up when they need to. We don't just rely on one or two players game-in and game-out.
"Everyone has made great contributions throughout the BBL and when you get in pressure moments that's a really important thing to have in your team. It's a great trait and one of the reasons why the Sixers have been so successful the last few years."
The loss for the Heat saw them miss out on hosting the final. They will now play the winner of Saturday night's elimination final between the Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers.
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