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BBL 2023: Khawaja stars in Brisbane Heat’s play-off win over the Renegades

Heat advance to the next round, while the Renegades bow out (Brisbane Heat/Twitter)

Usman Khawaja has cemented his status as a Big Bash finals king with another outstanding batting performance to help the Brisbane Heat reach the KFC BBL|12’s final three. In Saturday’s Knockout match against the Melbourne Renegades at Marvel Stadium, Khawaja blasted 59 from 47 balls in a seven-wicket victory.

Veteran Shaun Marsh also put in an impressive performance for the Renegades, winding back the clock with an unbeaten 82 (53) as they posted a total of 163. The Heat got off to a promising start in their run chase, with Khawaja and opening partner Josh Brown combining for a 75-run partnership. Brown (39 from 27 balls) was eventually dismissed in the ninth over by David Moody.

Khawaja continued to impress at the other end, eventually bring up his second half-century of the finals series with a slog sweep over mid-wicket. His dismissal in the 16th over brought Joe Burns to the crease, and together with Max Bryant, they guided the Heat to victory, chasing the target in the penultimate over.

Marsh was given a life in the fourth over when Heat seamer James Bazley spilled a low chance at short fine leg off the bowling of breakout star Spencer Johnson. Marsh made the most of the chance, racing to his 24th BBL half-century and 54th overall in Twenty20s. He was supported by Matt Critchley (23) and Sam Harper (22) to help the Renegades post 162.

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