Sports

‘Superman’ Abbott leads Sixers to victory over Heat




Sean Abbott starred with bat, ball and in the field to help Sydney Sixers complete one of the most remarkable victories in BBL history, a tense two-wicket win over Brisbane Heat at the SCG.

The Heat, reeling from a spectacular one-handed ‘Superman’ catch from Abbott, crashed to 4-21 before scrapping together a total of 105 from 19.1 overs thanks to X-factor substitute Jack Wildermuth’s 27.

Unmitigated chaos unfolded as the Sixers collapsed to 7-35 after nine overs.

The men in magenta slipped to 8-47 before the match turned on its head yet again.

Abbott (37 not out) and Ben Dwarshuis (23 not out) shared an unbeaten 59-run partnership to shepherd their side to a final-ball victory.

Abbott, who earlier removed Tom Cooper, Ben Duckett, Max Bryant and Wildermuth to finish with 4-31, broke his bat in a frenetic final over.

The fast-bowling allrounder danced down the pitch and flicked the last delivery of the match off his pads, bringing up the winning runs and earning man-of-the-match honours.

The Sixers’ power surge, taken after 14 overs, proved decisive on Wednesday night.

The hosts’ victory equation blew out to 54 runs off 34 deliveries before Abbott seized momentum, clearing his front leg and clattering a pair of sixes to make it 24 runs from the final four overs.

The result lifted the Sixers, hunting a third straight title, to top spot on the table while ruining Brisbane’s hopes of setting a new benchmark for the lowest BBL total ever successfully defended.

Abbott was on a hat-trick when his LBW shout was turned down in the tenth over.

Otherwise, the BBL’s all-time leading wicket-taker had the Midas touch as the Sixers made it six wins from seven games this season.

The paceman’s remarkable reaction time ensured Jake Fraser-McGurk’s boundary-line belter has some competition regarding the best catch of this season.

Abbott, stationed at extra cover, flung himself to the right and the well-struck ball somehow lodged in his outstretched hand.

Brad Haddin declared in the Fox Cricket commentary booth it was “the catch of the summer”, while Brett Lee likened Abbott to Superman.

Daniel Hughes, speaking to Haddin and Lee, argued the reactive catch from his teammate was no accident.

“He’ll catch them anywhere, he’s just an animal,” Hughes said.

“That was a hell of a catch.”

© AAP





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