Brisbane Heat claimed a six-run win at the SCG on Sunday to deal a significant blow to Sydney Sixers' hopes of qualifying for the Big Bash League semi-finals.
Half-centuries from Lendl Simmons (54) and Joe Burns (60) helped the visitors to 162-8 - a total that would have been much healthier had Sean Abbott not returned 3-8 after entering the attack for the first time in the 18th over.
The Sixers were given a helping hand in their chase as a host of chances went to ground, but still came up short on 156-8 and now need to win their last game and hope a number of results go their way.
Michael Lumb (47) and Brad Haddin (42) were the only batsmen to make any impression for Sydney, the latter benefiting from awful drops by debutant Mitchell Swepson and Simmons.
However, Haddin eventually fell to Ben Cutting (2-41) in the 18th over, a dismissal that effectively ended the Sixers' hopes as the required run-rate spiralled out of control.
Samuel Badree and Josh Lalor proved economical for the Heat, conceding 21 and 26 runs respectively in their four-over allocations.
Simmons had earlier enjoyed a welcome return to form, the opener striking nine fours and a six after coming into the game on the back of three ducks in four innings.
Having moved past 50 when a diving Jordan Silk parried the ball over the rope on the boundary, Simmons fell next ball to Johan Botha (1-45) courtesy of Doug Bollinger's catch at long-off.
Burns then overcame a sluggish period in the middle of his innings with successive sixes off Botha, before becoming the first of Abbott's three wickets as the seamer excelled in the closing overs.