Heat hold off David's best, shoot to fifth

The surging Brisbane Heat have shot to fifth on the Big Bash League ladder with a third-straight win.

Setting Hobart 163 for victory on Friday, the Heat looked home until Tim David teed off in a 20-run 18th over.

With the Hurricanes needing 18 off the last over, 27-year-old rookie quick Spencer Johnson (1-22 off four overs) held his nerve.

Three times David (44 off 27) was beaten, the big-hitter unable to find the rope and the Hurricanes finishing 12 runs short to allow the Heat to jump them and the lagging Adelaide Strikers into fifth.

The Heat host the stars on Sunday and have one hand on a ticket to the five-team finals series.

Player of the match Michael Neser (3-27) was again influential while James Bazley chimed in with the big wicket of Matthew Wade (45), who couldn't get going on a slow Gabba wicket.

"I've changed my mindset a bit, to be more attacking and look to take wickets rather than go straight to defence," Neser, who has 18 wickets in 10 innings this season, said.

He said captain Usman Khawaja's return had been a key reason for their resurgence, with his ability to keep Johnson calm and focused in the final over crucial.

Matt Renshaw continued his hot summer with a Heat-high 41 off 31 balls and three tight overs of off-spin that yielded a wicket and just 12 runs.

He created pressure that led to Wade's wicket and left Hobart on the ropes.

David wasn't daunted though, hitting two of the four sixes across the night as he stopped taking singles and targeted maximums with three overs still to bat.

"Absolutely, I was backing myself in," David said.

"I think they were under par. It was a good pitch to bat on, we just couldn't get the runs we needed.

"But two more wins, we're right up there."

The Heat scrambled to 6-162 thanks to 11 Hobart wides and the Hurricanes were sluggish early too after Neser knocked over Ben McDermott for a golden duck.

Even still, they only needed about nine an over at the halfway point to notch their first away win of the season.

Regular wickets hurt them though, before David took it upon himself to lift the Hurricanes over the line.

But he didn't count on Johnson's composure, the left-armer producing accurate 145kph thunderbolts under immense pressure.

It continued the South Australian's breakout season after injury cruelled his initial foray into top-level cricket seven years ago.