Electric Renshaw keeps Heat in the hunt
Matt Renshaw's unbeaten 90 helped Brisbane Heat keep their slim last-four hopes alive and simultaneously all but ended Adelaide Strikers' chances in a six-wicket away victory in the Big Bash League.
In a must-win match for both teams in Adelaide on Sunday, the home side had posted a competitive total of 176-8 off the back of valuable lower and middle-order contributions.
But Renshaw was in fine form during his 50-ball knock, while Brendon McCullum (51) made a valuable half-century in a textbook run chase that was sealed with eight balls to spare.
The Heat can still mathematically make the top four, albeit Melbourne Stars are in pole position to complete the semi-final line-up, while the second-bottom Strikers realistically need too much to extend their season.
STRIKERS RECOVER AT THE DEATH
The Heat had the Strikers rocking at 92-5 with Renshaw (1-15) sending Jake Weatherald (1) back early before Josh Lalor (3-25) inflicted big damage to dismiss Jake Lehmann (0) and Colin Ingram (28).
But the final five overs yielded 67 runs, with knocks from Jonathan Wells (30), Harry Nielsen (21), Michael Neser (18), Rashid Khan (19) and Cameron Valente (19) putting pressure on Brisbane.
COOL START FOR HEAT
Peter Siddle (2-39) came firing out of the blocks with the ball, dismissing Ben Cutting back for one and trapping Matt Bryant (10) lbw.
The big-hitting Chris Lynn could only manage a two-ball duck to leave the Heat 18-3 and in need of a revival.
RENSHAW, MCCULLUM TO THE RESCUE
Salvation duly arrived in the form of Renshaw and McCullum, who put on a match-winning partnership of 122 to take the game away from the Strikers.
McCullum made four sixes and a maximum off 39 balls before getting trapped in front by Rashid in the 15th over to end the stand.
Renshaw was the star of the show, tallying nine fours and four sixes including a lovely pull over deep square off Neser and a hammering blow high and far over the long-on ropes from Ben Laughlin.
Alex Ross (25 not out) also proved an able deputy as the Heat produced a big finish.