Opener Dan Hughes has inspired the Sydney Sixers’ three-wicket Big Bash League win at a sold-out Gabba on Tuesday night, snapping Brisbane Heat’s unbeaten season start.
Hughes chopped on for 85 on the first ball of the final over before Sean Abbott thrashed a match-winning six to ensure the visitors reeled in Brisbane’s 6-186 with two balls to spare in front of 32,371 fans.
Man of the match Hughes’ stirring 55-ball knock featured seven fours and four sixes to help third-placed Sixers reach 7-191.
The second-placed Heat’s opening loss was further soured by master blaster Chris Lynn being forced off the field during the Sixers’ run chase with an aggravated shoulder injury.
At one stage the Sixers were reeling at 4-91 in the 11th over with dangermen Moises Henriques (10) and Nic Maddinson (24 off 15) back in the pavilion.
Injury-plagued allrounder Nick Buchanan – the son of former Australian coach John – took 1-29 after dismissing Henriques in his first BBL game in more than five years.
But Hughes steadied the ship with veteran keeper Brad Haddin (32) in a 59-run fifth wicket stand before Abbott’s big hitting sealed the visitors’ third win of the season.
Ex-Test batsman Maddinson may have thought his luck had changed after being dropped on two and 16 – the latter a difficult chance grassed by a diving Lynn on the boundary.
But he was caught and bowled by Ben Cutting (2-44) as the Sixers’ run chase took a major hit.
Lynn left the field after his diving effort.
A Heat official said Lynn – who has suffered a shoulder injury the last three seasons – would not be sent for scans.
He will travel with Brisbane for their next game in Perth on Thursday.
The crowd of 32,371 was short of the 34,601-strong record set at Brisbane’s opening home game last week.
Earlier, ex-Test opener Joe Burns’ 51 not out helped Brisbane reach 6-186 after the Sixers won the toss.
Leading BBL wicket-taker Abbott (3-38) removed dangermen Brendon McCullum (30) and Lynn (13) by the ninth over.
Abbott now has 12 scalps for the tournament, double his nearest rival.
Brisbane man of the moment – BBL leading run scorer Lynn – was troubled by an ongoing shoulder complaint and had it strapped when he took the crease on Tuesday night.
Lynn still struck two sixes in his seven-ball knock to lift his tally to a league leading 15.