Sixers dent Heat's faint finals hopes

Written By Unknown on Senin, 07 Januari 2013 | 23.40

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On target ... Luke Feldman impressed again at the Gabba. Source: Gregg Porteous / News Limited

Sydney Sixers, the world club Twenty20 champions, have resurrected their ailing KFC T20 Big Bash League campaign with a five-wicket win over Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.

T20 - Gabba

7 January 2013 - Day 1, Session 2

Sixers 1st Innings

M. Lumb 61 55 5 1 110.91
S. O'Keefe 1 1 0 0 100
K. Roach 4 0 23 0 5.75

Down and seemingly out in the competition just a week ago, the Sixers are back in the mix for a semi-final spot with one round to go after outplaying the Heat in all three facets on Monday night.

Spinners Steve O'Keefe and Sachithra Senanayake strangled Brisbane on their pace-friendly Gabba wicket, restricting them to 9-127 - their lowest completed innings in two seasons of the BBL.

The Sixers top order then picked apart the home side's new-ball attack to ensure victory in the 19th over with English opener Michael Lumb (61 not out) guiding the way.

New Australia one-day paceman Ben Cutting, strangely held back until the 12th over, gave the Heat some late hope with 2-9 (three overs) but they ultimately paid the price for Kemar Roach dropping Lumb in the outfield.

Last year's BBL champions remain in sixth spot on six points on a congested table but their convincing win gave a massive boost to the net run rate.

1 Renegades 7 6 1 0 0 12 0.681
2 Scorchers 7 4 3 0 0 8 0.632
3 Strikers 7 4 3 0 0 8 0.53
4 Stars 7 4 3 0 0 8 0.181
5 Hurricanes 7 4 3 0 0 8 -0.287
6 Heat 7 3 4 0 0 6 0.129
7 Sixers 7 3 4 0 0 6 -0.221
8 Thunder 7 0 7 0 0 0 -1.471

The final round has a number of the top-four contenders playing each other and a third straight Sixers' win - against the pacesetting Melbourne Renegades, who will be without Aaron Finch, at the SCG on Wednesday night - could see them defend their title.

The Heat (six) finished well below a par score of 160 as they suffered from a dawdling start and then a 4-13 mid-innings collapse, which included the wicket of dangerous opener Luke Pomersbach (37 off 34).

All of the Sixers' bowlers performed with distinction but it was Sri Lankan all-rounder Sachithra Senanayake who surprisingly set the tone by frustrating the Heat with deceptive off-spin.

Senanayake conceded just nine runs from his first three overs with the new ball, starting with 11 consecutive dot balls.

O'Keefe also impressed, dismissing James Hopes for a duck in the second over and finishing with the best return of 3-21.

Josh Hazlewood took 3-32 in his long-awaited return from a foot injury.

Brad Haddin praised man-of-the-match Lumb's cool head, closing out the win as a "seasoned pro" when wickets fell around him.

"We made it hard for ourselves," Haddin said.

"We did it hard with the bat but, after where we've been the last few weeks, I'll take the win."

Heat captain Hopes admitted his side paid for their slow-paced batting and would have loved 20 more runs to defend.

"We just got stuck at the start and then we worked ourselves back into it and then got stuck again," he said.

Like the Sixers, the Heat need a last-round win, against the Hurricanes in Hobart, and other results to go their way to make the top four.

Relive all the key moments with our Match Centre!

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