Heat on fire in BBL but in dark on Mujeeb

Murray Wenzel
·2-min read

The Brisbane Heat hope crucial spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman's potential departure won't halt their momentum after a third straight win shot them into fifth on the BBL ladder.

The Heat slammed 3-115 from 10 overs against the Melbourne Stars on Thursday night, Chris Lynn (48 from 23), Max Bryant (31 off 23) and Joe Burns (22 off 11) defying a delayed start and two further rain delays to power their innings on Thursday.

Set a revised 129 for victory on the Gold Coast, the Stars were on the back foot thanks to Jack Wildermuth's opening over going for just two runs.

A series of brilliant fielding efforts and calm final over from Xavier Bartlett ensured a 17-run victory and four points to push them ahead of the Stars into fifth, just six points off top spot.

A rematch with the second-placed Sixers looms at Metricon Stadium on Sunday, while their next against the Melbourne Renegades on January 14 could be the last before Afghan spinner Mujeeb departs for international duty.

The teenager has competition-best figures of 5-15 and 12 wickets across the tournament so far, with his unpredictable off-spin proving a regular thorn in oppositions' sides.

He was set to depart for a series against Ireland in the UAE on January 16, but Heat officials are keeping their options open as they await an update on the status of the tour.

While the Heat would likely welcome legspinner and Australian Test squad member Mitchell Swepson into the fold, teammate Lewis Gregory said the potential loss of Mujeeb would still hurt.

"He's amazing at what he does and he's done it all around the world," the English import said of the 19-year-old.

"He's obviously going to be missed; he's so hard to pick, so hard to hit out of the ground and been a massive part of us winning games."

It was the Heat's third-straight win and fourth from their last five games, Gregory admitting he could feel the tide turning after a frustrating start.

"Momentum is massive in T20 cricket and when you get on the side of winning the important moments it naturally breeds confidence," he said.

"It's been a massive confidence boost the last three games to knock the teams off the top of the table (Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder and Stars).

"The guys are in an unbelievable space."