It was advertised as the Sydney Sixers `Girls Night Out’, but they might end up having a boys night in come BBL finals time after Sunday’s loss to Brisbane Heat at the SCG.
Chasing the Heat’s 8-162, the Sixers finished six runs behind at 8-156, the loss putting their finals hopes in the dreaded `mathematical chance’ category.
The bottom of the table Heat did their best to keep it close and lend a helping hand, spilling five catches, but the Sixers couldn’t capitalise.
Two veterans in Michael Lumb (47 off 38) and acting captain Brad Haddin (42 off 24) did their best to keep the crowd in party mode, but the final margin flattered the Sixers, who got closer with a few late hits.
A crowd of 24,192 threw themselves into the night’s theme with even Wallabies star Michael Hooper donning a pink halo.
But it was more a case of red faces for the magenta-clad Sixers, who struggled for most of the game against a Heat team already out of finals calculations.
The Heat’s Test batsman Joe Burns proved he was no one-format pony, scoring 60 off 51 in just his second BBL game of the season.
Burns isn’t a player who jumps to mind as a natural in the frenzied crash and bash of T20 cricket, but showed his adaptability by smashing three sixes to go with three fours,
His chief accomplice was West Indian Lendl Simmons, whose BBL form prior to Sunday could most kindly be described as mediocre.
A top score of 34 and three ducks in his previous four innings didn’t bode well.
Luckily, current form can be quickly updated and upgraded in cricket’s blink and you miss it format.
Simmons smashed his way to 54 off 30 balls and added 73 in eight overs with Burns.
Although in-form skipper Chris Lynn fell for just 1, Heat were well placed at 3 for 136 after 16 overs before their innings subsided.
Sean Abbott (3-8 off two overs) dragged the finals-chasing Sixers back into the game and was on a hat-trick in a frantic final over in which the Heat lost 3-6.
Paceman Doug Bollinger (1-23 off four) and Test spinner Nathan Lyon (0-27 off four) also bowled tidily, with Sydney conceding just 33 off the last five overs.