Michael Neser stars as Brisbane Heat secures top spot with win against Perth Scorchers

Michael Neser blasted a half-century for Brisbane Heat against Perth Scorchers in the BBL clash at the Gabba.

Michael Neser blasted a half-century for Brisbane Heat against Perth Scorchers in the BBL clash at the Gabba. Photo: Getty

Brisbane Heat has wrapped up the BBL top spot and a home qualifying final with a 23-run win over Perth Scorchers on the back of a stunning all-round Michael Neser performance.

Neser’s unbeaten 64 from 30 deliveries, his highest score in the BBL, was the match-turning innings on Wednesday that lifted Heat to 6-191 after it had been 5-91 in the 13th over and in dire trouble.

All-rounder Neser (2-31) then shone with the ball and in the field.

He removed the dangerous Zac Crawley (13) early and topped it off with a brilliant running catch at deep mid-on to dismiss Josh Inglis (28 off 20) just when he was looking dangerous.

Heat’s fast bowlers turned the screws to restrict the Scorchers to 9-168 despite the best efforts of  Laurie Evans (51 off 20).

Heat speed demon Spencer Johnson (2-23) bowled at 140 km/h in a fiery and productive spell.

Heat moved to 16 points, five clear of defending champions Perth and in an unassailable position.

It will now host the BBL qualifier on the Gold Coast on January 19 against the team that finishes second, with the winners going through to the final.

Earlier, Neser and Sam Billings (37 off 21) had combined for an 80-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Their tactic of delaying the power surge until the 18th over reaped rewards, with the pair plundering 30 in 12 balls.

Neser walloped 20 off the last over from Jason Behrendorff, including three sixes.

Heat batted first after skipper Usman Khawaja won the bat flip.

Khawaja, displaying the dove and olive branch of peace on his bat and shoes to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, raced to 14 off eight deliveries. He broke his first bat after just facing four balls.

Heat was unable to break away early, losing wickets at regular intervals.

Marnus Labuschagne (45 off 33 deliveries), returning with Khawaja from the Australian Test line-up to play BBL, was in superb form but fell just when he was set to cut loose.

The Scorchers were disciplined early with the ball.

Spinner Ashton Agar (2-29 off four) showcased his class to restrict the Heat batters, picking up Matt Renshaw (18 off 15).


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.