Australia’s Haidee Birkett made the cricket adage “catches win matches” come true quite literally as she completed a crucial running catch to take Brisbane Heat to the Women’s Big Bash League final.
Her stunning last ball catch proved to be the difference between her side reaching the final or getting knocked out in the semi-final.
Birkett’s stunner helped Brisbane Heat reach the WBBL final for the first time as they edged past Sydney Thunder by four runs in a gripping semi-final at Drummoyne Oval.
Thunder were chasing 141 for victory and needed five runs to win off the final delivery with 25-year-old Nicola Carey on strike. She was batting on 19 off 9 balls and had put her side on the verge of a famous win. Four runs were needed to ensure a super over, and a six would have confirmed an outright win.
And off the final ball of the innings, Carey seemed to have timed a slog sweep perfectly and bowler Jess Jonassen knew she was in trouble.
The ball seemed set to sail over over deep square leg fence but Birkett made terrific ground to grab a blinder to leave the Thunder batter heartbroken. Jonassen’s reaction said it all.
Batting first Brisbane Heat made 140/7 in 20 overs and Sydney Thunder made 136/7 in the allotted 20 overs in response, coming inches within qualifying for the final themselves.
It was a day of crazy finishes in the WBBL as, in the second semifinal, Melbourne Renegades were left heartbroken by Ellyse Perry’s Sydney Sixers. The captain hit a six in the Super Over to win it for Sixers but it was an incredible last-ball finish involving a run-out that saw the match end in a tie in the first place.
Watch it for yourself here:
And here’s Perry finishing it off in style.
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