The Khawaja-Labuschagne partnership assist Brisbane Heat to the Knockout
Brisbane Heat will face Melbourne Renedages in Knockout (Twitter)
After setting a colossal target of 204 runs, the rain shortened the second innings to 6.5 overs, in which Brisbane won by 8 runs on the DLS Method.
Captain Khawaja's domination
In the first ten overs of the Eliminator, it was evident that the pressure was on Brisbane Heat. They were looking to score runs, but their approach was more reserved than aggressive, which is the demand of T20 in today's day and age.
In the first half, the Heat could only amass four boundaries and a maximum. However, then Khawaja put his foot on the paddle and started the acceleration for good. He, alongside Labuschagne, took the attack to the Thunder's bowlers.
The Heat skipper started tonking bowlers for fun, and soon Labuschagne also joined the party. However, Khawaja nicked behind when he was batting on 94, falling short of a well-deserved hundred. His partner, meanwhile, bagged a 48-ball 73. Matt Renshaw also played a quickfire cameo of 24 runs off just 8 deliveries.
As a result of their hammering, Brisbane's run rate -- which was crawling at 6.4 after 10 -- reached 10.15 by the end of the innings as they posted 203 on the board.
Thunder's response to 204
Chasing any target over 200 runs is difficult for any side, and it becomes hard twice the fold when it has to be done in a do-or-die game. Sydney Thunder, unfortunately, had to do so.
They lost Matthew Gilkes early in the innings, on a score of 3 after facing 8 deliveries. Former skipper Jason Sangha, too, couldn't do much, but David Warner stood tall as a fighter for his side.
However, Warner's blistering 20-ball 36 wasn't enough for the Thunder, as when the rain started to pour down, they were 8 runs behind the target on DLS.
The match eventually got called up, with Brisbane Heat advancing to the next round of the BBL Finals.
Brisbane Heat - 203/5 (20 overs)
Usman Khawaja - 94 (55), Marnus Labuschagne - 73 (48)
Chris Green - 2/29 (4), Ben Cutting - 1/17 (2)
Sydney Thunder - 52/1 (6.5 overs)
David Warner - 36* (20), Jason Sangha - 9* (13)
James Bazley - 1/3 (1)
Result: Brisbane Heat won by 8 runs (DLS Method).