The match in a tweet: Easy as ABdV! De Villiers guides Heat to easy win on his BBL debut after Pattinson’s five #BBL09
The result: Adelaide Strikers 110 (Rashid 28; Pattinson 5-33, Lalor 2-12) lost to Brisbane Heat 3-114 (Renshaw 52 not out, de Villiers 40) by seven wickets with 28 balls remaining
The hero: James Pattinson (5-33) got pasted to all parts of Perth’s Optus Stadium on Saturday night, but the firebrand quick rapidly reversed that outcome at the Gabba today.
It wasn’t the best Pattinson has ever bowled, but he did utilise some pace and bounce in the wicket to hurry up the Strikers’ batsmen, and from his first 14 balls, he had four wickets, all caught by wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson (two leg-side nicks, one regulation nick, one skied).
In the end, he took care of the entire top five – the first time that feat has been managed in the Big Bash.
The superstar: It isn’t often that Chris Lynn isn’t the headline act at the Gabba but the Heat skipper’s dismissal for a duck brought the prospect of AB de Villiers (40 from 32) batting closer, and when Max Bryant fell in the second over of the run chase, the crowd were greeted by the sight of the legendary South African strolling to the middle.
From the first seven balls he faced from Afghan whiz Rashid Khan, he cover drove three fours – two off the front foot, the latter punched off the back. Against the best T20 bowler in the world, it was a remarkable way to mark his arrival in the Big Bash.
Thereafter, the first balls of Harry Conway (pulled savagely) and Liam O’Connor (cover-driven nonchalantly) both went to the rope, and from that point it was more business than brutality from the right-hander, who got the Heat to within 22 before surprising everyone present by picking out long-on.
The support cast: Matthew Renshaw looked as good as he has all tournament, driving a pair of fours from each of Michael Neser and Conway and going run-for-run – and glove punch for glove punch – with de Villiers. Renshaw came in at No.3 and displayed the sort of composure that appears to be coming with his increased experience in run chases, seeing his side home with a fine 52 not out.
The moment: Rashid had just confounded Max Bryant with a wrong’un that bowled the young opener through the gate. His next challenge was more formidable: de Villiers. The leg-spinner tried another wrong’un, pitched a touch fuller, but de Villiers was more than equal to the task, stepping forward slightly and leaning into a sumptuous drive that whistled past short cover and raced to the rope. It was a glorious shot, fitting of the occasion and a snapshot of all that is great about this crazy T20 tournament.
The consolation effort: As well as knocking over Bryant (1-30), Rashid breathed some life into the contest with his bat, scoring a 27-ball 28 – double the next best from a Strikers player – to at least get his team past 100.
The stat: Jimmy Peirson (four catches, one stumping) is just the second wicketkeeper to claim five dismissals in a Big Bash match, after Tom Triffitt managed it way back in 2012.
The next stops: Rematch! Come Friday it will be the Strikers’ turn to host the Heat, with the two sides squaring off again at the Adelaide Oval.
Brisbane Heat XI: Max Bryant, Ben Cutting, Chris Lynn (c), AB de Villiers, Matthew Renshaw, Joe Burns, James Peirson (wk), James Pattinson, Josh Lalor, Mitch Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Adelaide Strikers XI: Jake Weatherald, Phil Salt, Travis Head (c), Jon Wells, Harry Nielsen (wk), Matt Short, Michael Neser, Rashid Khan, Peter Siddle, Harry Conway, Liam O’Connor.