A savage display of big hitting from English import Tom Banton has helped Brisbane Heat beat Sydney Thunder by 16 runs in a rain-affected BBL clash on Monday.
Banton, who played his first three T20 internationals against New Zealand in November blasted 56 off 19 balls at Sydney Showground Stadium, as the Heat smashed 4-119 in an innings reduced to eight overs.
Banton took 14 off the first three deliveries of the Brisbane innings and reached his 50 off 16 balls with five successive sixes between long on and midwicket off spinner Arjun Nair.
It was the second fastest BBL 50 behind a 12-ball effort from West Indian Chris Gayle for Melbourne Renegades in 2016.
There was another brief rain delay after the Thunder reached 1-22 off 2.1 overs.
Thunder’s revised target meant they had to score another 55 off 17 balls to reach a winning score of 77.
In-form captain Callum Ferguson was caught at deep midwicket off the first ball after play resumed and the hosts never seriously threatened after that.
Big hitting English opener Alex Hales, who didn’t face a ball until the 11th delivery of the innings, scored an unbeaten 20 off nine.
The match started 103 minutes late, but 21-year-old Banton and his captain Chris Lynn launched a massive assault on the home bowlers.
They put on 90 in five overs during an innings which included ten sixes and nine fours.
Banton smashed seven sixes and two fours but got a life on 16 in the third over when wicketkeeper Matthew Gilkes missed a stumping.
Lynn, who promoted himself to open, belted 31 off 13, though he benefited from being dropped twice.
Thunder remain in the top four despite the loss, but Brisbane are just a point behind having played one less game.