Sangha spins his web but Heat too hot for Thunder as Neser shows he’s a triple threat with catch of the year contender


The Brisbane Heat’s bowlers have delivered them an impressive 20-run win against the Sydney Thunder in Canberra to continue their unbeaten start to the BBL season.

A classy 46 from in-form opener Colin Munro and clinical bowling from their disciplined bowling attack saw the Queenslanders cruise to victory on Tuesday night.

Only a late flurry from lower-order Thunder batter Chris Green (30 off 20 balls) restored respectability to the scoreboard, giving the Heat just the smallest of scares having had their opposition buried at 6-80 in their pursuit of 7-151.

They moved to 2-0 for the season, again successfully defending a total as their elite bowling lineup continues to put the competition on notice.

Xavier Bartlett’s 3-35 led the way, although spinner Mitch Swepson (2-26) delivered the prized scalps of Cameron Bancroft and Daniel Sams.

Wait for the replay on this one…

A contender for catch of the season from Michael Neser! #BBL13 #GoldenMoment @BKTtires

— (@cricketcomau) December 12, 2023

“(It was a) serious effort from our bowling attack to defend that under pressure,” Swepson told reporters.

“We just have an all-round attack … two spinners, both different in their own right, our fast left-arm quick Paul (Walter) obviously bowls a lot of change-ups … and then Xavier and (Michael) Neser are two of the best new-ball bowlers in the competition.

“That’s two wins now we’ve defended, so we’re going to draw a lot of confidence from that.”

Swepson trapped new Sydney man Bancroft (25) plumb lbw in a game-changing moment, before a stunning diving catch from Neser – one of three by the all-rounder – to dismiss Alex Ross left the Thunder cooked at 4-56.

“He was fielding at mid-on and I reckon he took the catch pretty much where mid-wicket would be standing, so he covered an unbelievable amount of ground,” Swepson said of Neser’s catch.

Only Ollie Davies (35 off 30), who earlier took a brilliant diving catch to dismiss Josh Brown, put up some fight for the Thunder.

After failures by Alex Hales (golden duck), Matt Gilkes (three) and Ross (two), Green conceded the top-order had probably cost his side a chance.

“We bowled really well, 150 was a fair score, probably par,” he told reporters.

“Our score at halfway was pretty similar to theirs, but they were one down and we were four down … we asked a lot from our middle to lower-order.

Tanveer Sangha celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Matt Renshaw. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

“We got close but we needed more partnerships up top tonight to get to that total.”

Earlier, an impressive spell from Thunder spinner Tanveer Sangha helped his side restrict the Heat.

His tight lines cramped up the Heat batters with his 3-21 featuring the vital wickets of Nathan McSweeney (29), Matt Renshaw (20) and Walter (six).

Munro’s innings backed up his 99 not out from his first knock of the season against the Melbourne Stars.

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