BBL 2024: Brisbane Heat beats Sydney Sixers at SCG to lift second title

BBL 2024: Left-arm sensation Spencer Johnson sunk the Sixers' ship by scalping four wickets.

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Courtesy: cricket.com.au

BBL 2024: The Brisbane Heat have won their second KFC Big Bash League (BBL) title, blasting the Sydney Sixers by 54 runs in the finals at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Wednesday.

Big-hitting opener Josh Brown backed up his record-breaking 57-ball 140 with another quickfire half-century at the top of the order to deliver the Heat their first championship in 11 years. Brown and skipper Nathan McSweeney (33) set the platform for the Heat after being asked to bat first. Matthew Renshaw's quick-fire 40 in middle order, which came in just 22 deliveries lifted the visitors to 166/8 on a tricky surface.

Spencer Johnson sinks Sydney Sixers' ship

Left-arm sensation Spencer Johnson then sunk the Sixers' ship to their fourth loss in a men's Big Bash final. Spenser eclipsed Sean Abbott's figure and recorded the best-ever figures in a decider with 4-26. Meanwhile, Sean Abbott scored 4 wickets by conceding 32 runs. 

Chasing the target of 167 runs, Michael Neser removed Daniel Hughes (1) with the third delivery of the innings, caught by Renshaw at slip off a beautiful delivery that seamed away from the left-hander.

Jack Edwards (16) and Josh Philippe (23) attempted to get the pursuit going as Johnson conceded 13 from his first four deliveries of the night.

Brisbane Heat's bowlers wreck havoc

But from then on it was one-way traffic, the Heat speedster claiming Edwards's wicket with the last delivery of his first over before dismissing Philippe in his second as he chipped a mistimed pull shot to the mid-on.

He returned to claim two more wickets, taking the air out of the Sixers chase. Spensor also went past teammate Xavier Bartlett (18) as the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 19.

Brisbane Heat avenge Sydney Sixers

Following the quick setbacks for Sydney Sixers, leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson (2-19) played the crucial wickets of Jordan Silk and Sydney Sixers. Moises Henriques was dismissed by Paul Walter for 25. While, Big Bash champion Steve O'Keefe's stellar career ended with a first-ball duck as the Sixers were bowled out on 112, avenging their final-over loss from last season's decider to cap off an incredible campaign where they won their first seven home-and-away games to top the standings.

First innings highlights

Earlier in the first innings, Sydney Sixers won the toss and invited Brisbane Heat to bat first. Speedster Abbott struck with the fifth ball of the night to remove Jimmy Peirson (4) in the very first over, who was again asked to open after the visitors recalled Swepson for Charlie Wakim.

Cautious start by Brisbane Heat

It was a cautious start from Brown and McSweeney, with the big-hitting opener's first eight runs coming from 13 deliveries as he got his eye in before exploding.

The Heat were 1/26 at that point, but the 30-year-old right-hander got the innings moving as he crashed Hayden Kerr for a six and a four off consecutive deliveries straight after the four-over Powerplay.

Kerr was again the target a few overs later as he and McSweeney took 65 from the six overs. Brown passed the 50-run mark for the second time in as many innings by taking the left-armer for 18 in the 10th over to help the Heat reach 81/1 at the halfway mark.

Steve O'Keefe retires from BBL

Ben Dwarshuis provided the much-needed breakthrough for the Sixers with the wicket of McSweeney before retiring Sixers champion Steve O'Keefe signed off a stellar Big Bash career with the wicket of Brown in his final over. Brown hammered  53 runs off 38 deliveries, he got out as the ball brushed the opener's back bap as he tried to force a ball into the off-side and he was given out leg-before on review.

O'Keefe was honored with a standing ovation from his adoring home fans after completing the final spell of his career. The 39-year-old all-rounder has scalped 99 wickets from 103 matches at an incredible economy of 6.65 in BBL.