Brisbane captain Jimmy Peirson felt his side was "in the box seat" when they took the wicket of Ashton Turner, but could only praise the Scorchers pair who steered Perth to victory in the ensuing overs
'Did something pretty special': Peirson praises Perth's heroes
With three overs to go in last night's KFC BBL|12 Final, Brisbane skipper Jimmy Peirson thought his side might just have been on the precipice of one of the greatest upsets ever seen.
With Scorchers captain Ashton Turner run out two balls prior courtesy of a dreadful mix up, the home side required 38 off 18 deliveries for victory.
Twenty days earlier, the Heat were cellar dwellers as the regular season reached its pointy end.
But after sneaking into finals, and winning three do-or-die clashes on the trot to be playing off for the trophy at Perth Stadium on Saturday, they were now inches away from clinching a scarcely-believable Big Bash crown.
"I think when we had the run out of Ash Turner, we thought we were in the box seat in that game," Peirson told reporters post-match.
But history will show that it was a 19-year-old Western Australian and another local hero that would steal the limelight, and the Brisbane keeper could only admire the pair's "courage".
"To be honest, I think that a couple of young players came in and did something pretty special tonight," he said.
"Cooper Connolly and (Nick) Hobson, the courage they played with took the game out of our hands.
"I felt as though we were right in control until they went and hit couple of boundaries in quick succession and the game was right there."
Despite the loss, Peirson sang the praises of his bowlers and said had some crucial opportunities been taken, the title may way have been on its way to Queensland.
"We felt like we had enough runs and if we bowled well and took all of our chances (we could win), and if we'd taken all those chances maybe we'd have won that game," he said.
"I was very pleased, we stuck to a very simple plan which is a hard length, some cross seam deliveries, just like their bowlers did.
"Our bowlers did tremendously, I thought Matty Kuhnemann was economical again and our bowling goes from strength to strength. It's been very good in the finals series and it's very encouraging for the future."
The stand-in captain also lauded his squad who against all odds made it to the final, with the Heat beating the Sixers without the likes of Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Renshaw and Mitchell Swepson on the way to their narrow loss to the Scorchers.
"I'm immensely proud, as I mentioned on stage, the group that we've got is probably not full of household names like some teams," he said.
"But now my vision for this team is making the most of our parts and I think we're starting to do that.
"Nathan McSweeney, Maxy Bryant - performing on the big stage will give them strength and confidence to go bigger and better next year when we get a chance."
With two local products the heroes for Perth, Peirson said the reliance on home-grown talent was something the Heat too were looking to continue implementing moving forward.
And with the emergence of local stars such as Josh Brown, as well as the growth of McSweeney and Bryant, the 30-year-old said there's no reason why his side can’t have a sustained run in the finals for years to come.
"I think we're actually adopting a similar sort of template (to the Scorchers). They've kept their state players and a good core group of guys that they've had for many, many years," he said.
"I think with our squad now, it's mostly Queensland state representative guys, so we're certainly building a similar sort of template.
"I feel the beauty of that is you're training all year round, you're able to have those conversations throughout the whole year rather than six or seven guys come from out of state plus your overseas guys.
"It's something we've tried to adapt in our group and we're starting to build towards something."