Brisbane Heat 206/5
Adelaide Strikers 196/6
The Brisbane Heat recorded an impressive victory over the Adelaide Strikers by 10 runs to get their BBL06 campaign off to the perfect start.
The Heat opened their account, thanks largely to the captaincy and shear genius of Brendon McCullum.
Having been asked to bat by Brad Hogg, the Heat got off to a flyer.
McCullum (42) and fellow opener Jimmy Peirson (46) dismantled the home side’s bowling in an explosive onslaught, reaching 79-0 at the end of the powerplay.
Kieran Pollard (2/27) eventually removed both batsmen with two wickets in two balls after a 90-run opening stand, during a prolific middle period for the Strikers.
The West Indian superstar bowled well in tandem with rookie Liam O’Connor, who was unlucky to go wicket-less.
Chris Lynn looked to be motoring before Pollard was in the action again, taking a brilliant flat catch in the deep to remove the Heat’s danger man for 29.
Brisbane had started to slow down during the middle overs, but former Striker Alex Ross took 22 of Ben Laughlin’s final over, on his way to a magnificent 64 (36) to haunt his former side.
Travis Head had earlier made a mess of a chance to dismiss Ross in the deep, but a security guard nonchalantly reminded him how to catch, much to the delight of the 38,000 strong crowd.
In reply, the Strikers trumped the Heat’s opening stand with hard hitting half centuries from both Ben Dunk and James Weatherald.
The pair put together 133 for the first wicket, before the latter was dismissed for an excellent 52 (28) in the 12th, on his BBL debut.
Having been dropped on 5, Dunk was given another life after Alex Ross shelled a regulation chance with the Strikers opener looking composed on 76.
Dunk was caught a few balls later for 85 (43), but the home side looked to be in a commanding position at 142-2.
McCullum still believed his side were in with a chance though, and a maiden over from Samuel Badree seemed to change the flow of the game.
Ben Cutting (2/46), although expensive, and Mark Steketee (3/32), atoning for his earlier mishap in the deep, closed out the innings exceptionally for the Heat.
The Strikers finished 10 runs short, despite the best efforts of skipper Brad Hodge, finishing unbeaten on 27 (17).
It was a collapse England would have been proud of, the first 11 overs yielding 133 runs unscathed, whilst the final 9 overs returned a disastrous 63-6.
A bittersweet result for the Adelaide side, but Ben Dunk’s explosive start is a promising sign of things to come.
The Strikers will be looking to bounce back in their next fixture against the Perth Scorchers.
Tomorrow’s game features the Melbourne Renegades and the Sydney Thunder, with the latter looking to recover from their opening day defeat.