Heat smash Thunder

BRISBANE Heat are back in the KFC T20 Big Bash League finals race, thanks to a record 91-run Gabba thumping of Sydney Thunder on Tuesday night.

Inspired by an unbeaten 75 by Dan Christian, the Heat blasted 4-195 and then kept the Thunder to 6-104 – the second worst total in the revamped competition.

After losing their first four matches, the last-placed Heat were given no chance of making the Big Bash semi-finals 12 days ago.

But three straight wins, topped off by Tuesday night’s drubbing, has resurrected Brisbane who are now sitting in fourth spot on net run rate.

Melbourne Stars (3-3) can retain fourth place if they beat Adelaide Strikers (2-4) on Thursday night at the MCG but otherwise the Heat are in pole position.

While all-rounder Christian made it look like a batting paradise, the Heat’s bowlers relished in the conditions by ripping through the Thunder’s top-order with the new ball.

Alister McDermott dismissed West Indies master blaster Chris Gayle for a golden duck and then had Tim Cruickshank caught behind for a rare double-wicket maiden.

Sorely missing captain and Test opener Dave Warner, the Thunder also struggled to get their run rate above four and were a beaten team at 5-34 in the 12th over.

The 91-run winning margin was easily bigger than the previous biggest of 67 by the Strikers against Melbourne Renegades.

Brisbane also struggled against the new ball before Christian entered the fray at 2-14 and reeled off five fours and four sixes in his classy 48-ball knock.

He combined with captain Peter Forrest (33 off 27) for an 80-run stand before young gun Chris Lynn (37 off 17) joined the party to put on 71 off the last 27 balls.

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