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Josh Brown’s 41-ball ton powers Brisbane Heat to Big Bash final
Cricket Sport

Josh Brown’s 41-ball ton powers Brisbane Heat to Big Bash final

Brisbane Heat’s Josh Brown set a new record with his century, leading his team to a 54-run win against Adelaide Strikers and securing a spot in the Big Bash League finals.

The first player for the Heat hit 12 sixes, breaking the tournament record. He also hit 10 fours in his 57-ball score of 140 at Carrara on the Gold Coast. This performance helped Brisbane secure a spot in the SCG final against the Sydney Sixers on Wednesday.

The Strikers were trying to score 215 runs in order to win, but they were unable to do so and ended up being dismissed for 160 runs. Nathan McSweeney took 3 wickets in the last over, securing a 54-run win for his team.

Brown achieved the top score in a BBL finals match and tied for the second-fastest century in the tournament’s history. He hit a six over mid-on off Cameron Boyce’s delivery, reaching the milestone in just 41 balls.

After Brown was ultimately removed from the game in the 17th over with a score of 192, the Heat faced a loss of 4-5 and only managed to score 14 points in the last three overs, allowing the opposing team to make a comeback.

However, a crucial two-wicket over by Spencer Johnson (3-20 from four overs), who dismissed important players Matt Short (19 off nine balls) and D’Arcy Short (seven off 13), allowed the Strikers to regain control.

Brown, a 30-year-old bat manufacturer who earned a spot in a BBL contract last season due to his impressive performance in club cricket, was on track to surpass Craig Simmons’ record of scoring the fastest 39-ball mark in Perth.

He ended up tying with Glenn Maxwell for second place, surpassing Chris Lynn’s previous record of the fastest century (in 49 balls) for the Heat.

This was also the third highest BBL score, following Maxwell’s 154 not out and Marcus Stoinis’ 147 not out.

Brown hit a score of 50 in 22 balls, which was the same number of balls he faced on Friday when he scored a slow 15 points with many missed swings in a defeat against the Sixers.

The playing surface at Carrara Stadium has become firmer since that time. Brown quickly found his groove, aiming for the midwicket area when the bowlers delivered a short ball and focusing on cover if they pitched too far.

Fortune smiled upon him when he reached his 90s and hit a high pull shot that landed in a gap between four fielders. Brown was otherwise meticulous in choosing his targets with fierce accuracy.

Boyce (2-50) and Lloyd Pope (2-39) recovered from Brown’s initial attack, with David Payne (2-17 from three overs) also proving to be effective.

Johnson was running fiercely as he passed through both Shorts before returning Jake Weatherald, who played a key role in the Strikers’ surprise victory against Perth Scorchers three days ago.

The necessary pace rose above 15 runs per over, but Matt Kelly (41 off 24) remained determined until he hit a Paul Walter ball directly into the safe hands of Michael Neser.

The Heat were defeated by Perth in the previous year’s final and are now aiming to secure their first title since the second season of the BBL. Meanwhile, the Sixers have the opportunity to win their fourth title in their seventh appearance in the final.

Source: theguardian.com