Heat in benchmark battle against Stars

Brisbane’s prospects of another thrilling late dash into the Big Bash League finals are likely to face the ultimate test on Saturday against the competition-leading Melbourne Stars.

A 48-run win over Sydney Thunder at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday lifted Brisbane one spot to sixth.

They went into that game with a 1-3 record, which they also had at the corresponding stage last season, after which they won six of their next seven games to take the title.

Batsman Chris Lynn the Heat’s batting hero against Thunder, said he couldn’t see any reason why they couldn’t embark on a similar run this season.

However, he recognised they would face a formidable test on Saturday in their final home game against the ladder-leading Stars.

Melbourne will however lose Clint McKay, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner to the Australian one-day squad, while the Heat are used to functioning without their representative stars, Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson and Ryan Harris.

“Its going to be a tough ask considering we’re premiers, so they are always after us,” Lynn said.

“But we’ve got to start on Saturday against the Melbourne Stars.

“They’ve set the platform this season and if we knock them off we know we can beat any side.”

Lynn smashed 56 off 35 balls against Thunder to maintain his good Big Bash form.

However, the hard-hitting right-hander refused to think about a possible call up to the Australian T20 team for the three upcoming matches against England.

“I try not to think about that stuff because the blokes that get caught up in that tend to fail,” Lynn said.

Thunder captain Mike Hussey admired the way Brisbane’s players executed their roles, but was disappointed with his team’s performance as they slipped to an 18th straight loss.

They allowed Brisbane to score 109 of their last nine overs and then lost 9-62 in their chase in which Hussey (60 off 37) was the only batsmen to score more than 22.

“We were right up for it, we thought this was a great opportunity at our place against a team that had been battling a little bit as well,” Hussey said.

He lamented the absence of batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan with a back issue, but felt Thunder’s other Sri Lankan, Ajantha Mendis, would be a great asset for the remainder of the campaign, despite the spinner conceding 41 runs from four overs on his BBL debut.

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