Bash Brothers 2.0: Bryant, Cutting annihilate Stars on McCullum's Gabba farewell
The opening pair of Max Bryant and allrounder Ben Cutting smashed 13 sixes in unbroken, record partnership in the last BBL08 game of the season at the Gabba to destroy Melbourne Stars by 10 wickets.
The Heat hit 94 in the powerplay, the most ever in the history of the BBL. Bryant contributed 58 from 23, Cutting 32 from 13. Ten fours and six sixes were plundered.
Promoted to open the innings with young Bryant, Cutting took his six-hitting reputation to another level in search of a quick win to boost Brisbane's net run rate. Cutting smashed four fours and five sixes on course to the second fastest fifty in BBL history off 17 balls - only behind Chris Gayle's 12-ball record. His knock included a hat-trick of maximums against Adam Zampa. Cutting finished unbeaten on 81 from 30 balls, adding three more maximums to his name.
With Brendon McCullum announcing his BBL retirement after this season, youngster Max Bryant might be best placed to take up the mantle of Bash Brother. The hard-hitting right-hander exploded alongside Cutting with a career-best 71 from 30 balls, including six fours and five sixes.
Earlier, the Heat restricted the visitors to 156 for eight despite Marcus Stoinis' fifty. His 51-ball 81 was his season-high score and was more than half of the Stars total. The right-hander hit seven fours and two sixes. He was run out in the closing stages of the innings by Alex Ross in the deep coming back for a risky two. His promotion to opener has worked wonders, and might take up the role at international level as well.
For Heat, their leading wicket-taker Josh Lalor took three for 43, taking his season tally to 20, behind only league-leader Kane Richardson, who has 23 scalps. Young Matt Renshaw, Jack Prestwidge and Mitchell Swepson shared a wicket each.
The Heat's blitz was exactly what the home side needed to put their NRR above Sydney Thunder. Now for them to make the finals, they need the Stars to lose against the Sixers on Sunday and the Thunder to either lose to the Hurricanes or win and maintain a lower NRR. However, if the Stars beat the Sixers they will qualify.