Brisbane Heat survived a Ben Dunk whirlwind to defeat the Adelaide Strikers by 10 runs in Wednesday’s Big Bash League clash at Adelaide Oval.
Former Hobart Hurricanes star Dunk was in a murderous mood, belting 85 off 43 balls, as Brisbane’s imposing 5-206 looked within reach.
With Dunk at the crease dispatching the Heat bowlers to all corners and Jake Weatherald (52) nerveless 52 on his BBL debut, the home side were well placed.
The pair put on 133 off 67 balls for the opening wicket before both holed out in the space of eight balls.
Dunk’s exit and the introduction of West Indian spinner Samuel Badree, who stifled Travis Head with a maiden in the 14th over, halted Adelaide’s momentum, which the home side was never able to recapture.
Head (23) never quite got going, eventually top-edging a catch to Badree off leg-spinner Mitch Swepson, who bowled a fine 18th over.
Kieron Pollard (1) and Jake Lehmann (a first ball duck) had their castles disturbed, the home side fading at the death, finishing on 6-196.
Mark Steketee was the pick of the bowlers with 3-32 while Ben Cutting grabbed 2-46.
Earlier, Alex Ross cracked 64 against his old side to build on the foundation laid by Heat keeper Jimmy Peirson’s 46.
Former Black Caps master blaster Brendon McCullum (42) should have been run out on 35 and was grassed by Kane Richardson.
Pollard (2-27) then went on to snare Peirson and McCullum off successive deliveries.
Pollard further shifted the momentum after his high-leaping catch at deep midwicket sent dangerman Chris Lynn (29) packing.
The scoring rate temporarily slowed before Ross took charge.