Mujeeb five-for in vain as Heat lose to Hurricanes in thriller

A sensational five-wicket haul from Afghan mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been undone by a dramatic last-ball Big Bash League defeat for Brisbane Heat against Hobart Hurricanes.

Mujeeb picked up the best figures ever by a Heat bowler — and the fourth best in BBL history — by taking 5-15 off his four overs at the Gabba as Brisbane dismissed Hobart for 150.

But his efforts were in vain as the Heat finished on 8-149 off their 20 overs with Mark Steketee run out off the final ball chasing a tying score which would have forced the game into a super over.

Third umpire Phillip Gillespie decided Steketee’s bat was short of the crease when it was grounded before bouncing up in the air as Colin Ingram’s throw hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

Despite uncertainty over whether Steketee’s bat had actually been short of the line, Heat captain Jimmy Peirson accepted the call after viewing a replay post-match.

A Big Bash batsman slides on the crease on his stomach as the zing bails light up for a run out.A Big Bash batsman slides on the crease on his stomach as the zing bails light up for a run out.
The cricketing year ended on a frustrating note for the Brisbane Heat with Mark Steketee’s run-out sealing defeat to Hobart.(AAP: Darren England)

“I had a brief look just then… and it looked like the bat did bounce before the line,” Peirson said.

“I’d love to have a real good look at it but we (have to) look within, we can’t blame that or whinge about that.

“We got ourselves in a situation where we should have put that game to bed with the bat, we didn’t do that.”

A smiling Big Bash bowler high-fives teammates after he takes one of his five wickets for the match.A smiling Big Bash bowler high-fives teammates after he takes one of his five wickets for the match.
Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman had the fourth-best figures in Big Bash history, taking 5-15 for the Heat against the Hurricanes.(AAP: Darren England)

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The first Twenty20 five-wicket haul in 19-year-old Mujeeb’s career eclipsed West Indian Samuel Badree’s 5-22 against the Melbourne Stars in 2016 as the best bowling by a Heat player.

His effort, which included three wickets in four balls in the penultimate over of the Hurricanes’ innings, is the best return in the BBL since Dan Christian’s 5-14 for Hobart against Adelaide in 2017.

Chasing 151 to claim a second win over the Hurricanes in four days, the Heat slumped to 3-8 in a disastrous start.

A 50-run partnership between Max Bryant (32 off 21) and English import Lewis Gregory (29 off 27) steadied the innings.

Second-gamer James Bazley, who scored an unbeaten 31 on debut in Sunday’s four-wicket win over the Hurricanes, brought victory within sight as the Heat needed seven to win off the final over.

Scott Boland (2-18) restricted the Heat to just five off his first five deliveries and when Ingram produced his last-ball heroics, Bazley was left stranded on 49 not out.

Along with Boland, Riley Meredith (3-21) was the other key bowler for the Hurricanes.

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“It was really exciting and, obviously, a thrilling finish to a pretty crazy game,” said Singapore international Tim David, who provided some late fireworks in Hobart’s innings with a 17-ball 36.

“I feel like probably most of the batters will be a bit disappointed leaving a few runs out there from both sides but to defend seven in the last over and even the guys that did a really tough job from this end to the short boundary, yeah, it was amazing.”

AAP