The Big Bash League’s Sydney Thunder saw their playoff hopes come to a crushing end on Friday evening, as rain prematurely ended their run chase against the Brisbane Heat in the Eliminator match. The Heat were declared victors by eight runs via the DLS Method after a lengthy delay. Had the rain arrived just 15 minutes earlier, the match would have been declared a no result and the Thunder would have progressed to the next stage of the finals due to their higher position on the BBL ladder.
The Heat had set a formidable target in the first innings, with captain Usman Khawaja leading the charge with a blistering 94 (55) knock. Khawaja combined with Marnus Labuschagne for a 128-run partnership for the second wicket, helping the Heat to register 5-203 from their 20 overs, the highest team total at the venue in BBL history.
In response, the Thunder had made a strong start, with opener David Warner unbeaten on 36 (20) before rain interrupted play. Thunder captain Chris Green had snared an early breakthrough, dismissing Heat opener Josh Brown for 3 (7) in the fourth over. Khawaja’s partnership with Labuschagne surpassed triple figures before Labuschagne brought up his maiden Big Bash half-century with a swat through mid-wicket in the 16th over.
However, just as Warner was starting to find his rhythm and the Thunder were closing in on their target, the rain returned to end their hopes of a comeback. The run chase was reduced to a nine-over affair, with the Thunder needing 38 runs off 13 balls for victory, but moments before play was scheduled to resume, the rain returned to break the hearts of Thunder fans across the country.