Cricbuzz Staff •
Ben Cutting scored the second-fastest BBL fifty – off 17 balls © Getty
Ben Cutting and Max Bryant pulverised the Melbourne Stars with an exhilarating batting display, giving Brisbane Heat an outside chance to still make the final-four stage of the Big Bash League 2018-19. The opening pair chased down 157 in just 10 overs, completing a thoroughly dominating 10-wicket victory.
For Heat to qualify, they will need the Stars to lose to the Sydney Sixers, and would need Sydney Thunder to lose to Hobart Hurricanes, or win with a low NRR. Heat are currently placed fourth after completion of their league games, with 13 points, coming from six wins and seven losses.
Needing a miracle of sorts with the NRR equation, Heat opened with Cutting, who is otherwise a lower-middle order batsman. It proved to be a masterstroke as he took no time to adjust to his new position, unleashing an onslaught on the opposition to score the second-fastest half-century in the BBL, in just 17 balls. He eventually remained unbeaten on 81 off just 30 balls – a knock that comprised four boundaries and eight sixes.
Bryant, on the other hand, played second fiddle, but only just, racing away to a career-best 71 that came off 30 balls, that included six fours and five sixes. Together, the pair belted 13 sixes and ten fours, scoring 94 in the PowerPlay – the highest-ever in the history of the BBL.
Earlier, Marcus Stoinis’s 51-ball 81 was the only consolation for the Stars, who had a forgettable night. Stoinis continued his good form this season – with 442 runs in ten matches, averaging 63.14 at 135.16 – guiding the Stars to 156 for 8 after they were asked to bat. No other batsman went on to surpass even the 25-run mark, with the next-best being Dwayne Bravo’s 21.
Brief scores: Melbourne Stars 156/8 in 20 overs (Marcus Stoinis 81; Josh Lalor 3-43) lost to Brisbane Heat 158/0 in 10 overs (Ben Cutting 81*, Max Bryant 71*) by 10 wickets.