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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

Brisbane Heat monitoring fitness of finals hero

Former cricketer Bryce McGain says Brisbane Heat cannot afford to lose any more players ahead of Wednesday’s Big Bash final.  


After thrashing the Adelaide Strikers by 54 runs, the Brisbane Heat will take on the Sydney Sixers at the SCG in the final.  


Opener Josh Brown smacked 140 runs, including 12 sixes in a stunning knock at the Gabba.  


However, a hip complaint left Brown sidelined during the second innings, with the Heat sweating on his fitness ahead of Wednesday’s clash. Michael Neser also didn’t bowl his final over due to hamstring tightness.  


McGain told Sports Breakfast he expects to see both players take the field in Wednesday’s final.  


“I would imagine Michael Neser, just with his workloads and the way he's been performing throughout it, I'm sure he'll come up,” he said.  


“Wild horses will keep Josh Brown away. He’ll just go and launch into it but he was exhausted towards the end of his innings. It wasn't through running between the wickets, it was about his clean ball striking and power hitting.”  


“Hopefully they come up because Brisbane Heat cannot afford to lose any more players. I thought they were done, I certainly tipped against them last night.  


The run that the Adelaide Strikers were on was just a bit hot to handle and just didn't see this coming from Josh Brown.” 


Ahead of finals, the Heat lost international imports Colin Munro and Sam Billings to the Dubai-based ILT20 competition.  

 With both players with year of experience out, the Heat needed someone to step up and take the reins, as Brown did last night.  


McGain believes Brown is more than capable of filling these shoes, especially after last night’s knock.  


“He's played over 20 T20 games now, but still not a household name... this is his first hundred and he scored another 50, but what he does do is strike around 150,” he said. 


“He's a club cricketer who belts them and I think the Adelaide strikers got it horribly wrong with what they bowled to him.  


“They just kept on feeding the ball into his strengths and he delighted, just kept on delivering an amazing innings last night and that saw the Brisbane Heat really demolish the Strikers in the end.”  


The Sixers will make their fifth BBL Grand Final appearance, searching for their fourth title, while the Heat will look to rectify last year’s final loss in their third final appearance.   


McGain predicts the Sixers will come out as champions of the 2023/24 season, but Brisbane shouldn’t be ruled out entriely.  


“They have have been there, they're seasoned, they're so well drilled, they are so relaxed,” he said.  


“They're confident in their ability without being arrogant, I think they would be the favoured team.  


“But you can't deny the Brisbane Heat. They're on top of the table for a very good reason and it's the depth of their squad that's showing now and winning them some games.” 

IMAGE: Shepparton News


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