The Sixers chased just 106 and swayed at 8 for 47 before Abbott finished his remarkable performance with a match-winning 37
Sydney Sixers 8 for 106 (Abbott 37 not out, Dwarshuis 23 not out, Wildermuth 2-18, Bazley 2-19) Brisbane Heat 105 (Wildermuth 27, Abbott 4-31, Dwarshuis 2-13, Kerr 2-18) with two wickets
The Sixers chased just 106, swayed at 8 for 47 and were in grave danger of the lowest BBL score ever before Abbott ended his remarkable performance with a match-winning 37 that was not marked by hitting the winning stroke from the last ball.
The Sixers collapse before Abbott’s heroism
The Sixers’ hopes of an easy chase disappeared with Josh Philippe’s early wicket, which has been such a driving force for them this season, triggering a horror show. It was jarring to see the otherwise composed Sixers look so appalling as they could not establish a partnership to stabilize the ship.
Moises Henriques was the only batsman who seemed unafraid of the situation, but when he fell for 15, it was unthinkable to unfold. At 7 for 35, they were in grave danger of suffering the disgrace of the lowest BBL score ever at 57 before Abbott continued his remarkable play to boost the Sixers’ momentum-shifting 30 runs in the power rise.
When he needed a run to win the final ball, Abbott aptly proved the hero with a flick through the in-field to trigger memorable celebrations in one of the season’s best matches.
Inspired heat falls short
When the Heat defended a low total, the Heat obviously needed early wickets, and they delivered on a course that looked more like a test tire.
The inflated Heat had their tails up and could sniff out an astonishing robbery as their seams bowled an immaculate line on a pitch that favored bowlers much more than is the norm in T20 cricket.
Offspinner Mujeeb ur Rahman attended the party with Henriques’ key wicket when the Heat got suffocated. Jake Wildermuth proved to be an inspired x-factor with two wickets to seemingly rule out any chance of a Sixers resuscitation.
That was until Abbott opposed, and the Heat suddenly lost nerve before Bartlett struck a brilliant finale over, but it did not turn out enough.
Abbott can not do anything wrong
Renegade’s youngster Jake Fraser-McGurk appeared to have finished the tournament catch after his leaping one-handed war against the Adelaide Strikers earlier in the season. But he has serious competition after Abbott took a jaw-dropping catch to leave Chris Lynn in shock.
The warring Lynn seemed to have smoked a boundary through extra cover only so that a soaring Abbott could somehow grasp the peach of a catch in the shadows, as a pristine Lynn could do nothing but give a crooked laugh .
It featured an amazing performance from Abbott, who also took wickets with smart slower balls to dupe Tom Cooper and dangerous Ben Duckett.
His memorable evening had only just begun.
In a desperate attempt to turn their season around, the Heat rejected their slogan with captain Jimmy Peirson taking on the burden of moving from No. 6 to open in a direct prey with Max Bryant. It did not work with Peirson striking out in the first over to trigger carnage for the Heat, who lost three wickets in the four-over powerplay.
Lynn, BBL’s all-time leading running scorer, may have been unlucky to fall to an absolutely overwhelming, but his brand of pyrotechnics has been few and far between this season that has contributed to Heats matches.
The pressure fell on the shapely Duckett, whose ability to hit breakers stole the show’s last start against the Melbourne Stars, and he unleashed his favorite shot early on against Shadab Khan, who made his debut for the Sixers. English imports had little concern for young leg spinner Lloyd Pope as he started Heats’ long road to recovery.
But he was confused by Abbott as the Heat were on the verge of embarrassment with 7 for 63 before Wildermuth pushed them into three-digit numbers with an invaluable stroke of 27.
However, heat will make it difficult not to be able to handle a few more runs.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth and writes about sports for Guardian and mailer report