Cutting hopes Heat rivals are worried
The Brisbane Heat are gathering momentum at the right time and veteran allrounder Ben Cutting is hoping rival teams are sitting up and taking notice
9 February 2019, 08:09 AM AEST
Ben Cutting says rival clubs have been put on notice after the stampeding Brisbane Heat launched one of the most extraordinary displays of hitting the BBL has ever seen to keep their finals hopes alive.
It was billed as Brendon McCullum's farewell match, but neither he nor fellow Bash Brother Chris Lynn were required as the Heat openers sent the Gabba into a frenzy in notching an incredible 10-wicket victory with half their allotted overs remaining.
The astonishing onslaught from openers Cutting and Max Bryant kept Brisbane's slim titles hopes in tact, with the pair launching 13 sixes between them to reel in Melbourne Stars' 8-156 in just 60 balls.
Most importantly, the win vaulted them into fourth on the KFC BBL standings, increased their net run-rate from -0.100 to 0.249 and put the pressure squarely back on the Sydney Thunder to defeat the table-topping Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday, as well as the now under-the-pump Stars to win the following day against Sydney Sixers.
"I'm a little bit disappointed for 'Baz' (McCullum) not being able to get out there in front of his home crowd for the last time," said Cutting. "But hopefully there's one or two more games to play.
"To be involved in something like that with Max tonight was pretty special.
"Particularly because of the way we need to finish off our season, it puts us in a better seat – hopefully the Stars lose Sunday and we might sneak through (to the finals)."
Asked if teams will be fearful of the Heat sneaking into the finals, Cutting said: "I hope so.
"We were due to come off. Teams have been believing that every time we've played them.
"Hopefully with a bit of momentum now, if we do get to play again, teams are scared."
And with that, the @HeatBBL are in the top four! Can they hang on?! 👀 #BBL08 pic.twitter.com/KPBmgwy9RD— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) February 8, 2019
After taking 48 off the opening four overs, the carnage inflicted by the Heat duo somehow escalated.
The next three overs went for 24, 22 and 21, breezing past the previous BBL record for the biggest Power Play (they were 0-94 after six overs) as balls went flying all over the Gabba.
While increasing their net run-rate hadn't been discussed at length pre-game, Cutting recognised at the six-over mark they had a golden opportunity to boost it
"I mentioned to Max, 'we should probably keep going here, it's going to work wonders for us'," he said.
Aside from that, the conversation between Cutting and the quietly-spoken Bryant wasn't overly complicated.
"Max doesn't offer a lot. There's not a lot of in-depth conversation going on," Cutting said. "It was, 'should I keep going and hit this one for six?'
"'Yeah, okay.' And that's pretty much the extent of it."
Bryant's half-century came off just 20 balls, before Cutting bettered that by taking only 17 balls, with the Heat 100 coming up off just 39 deliveries. The Stars’ nightmare continued as both batters were dropped when their individual tallies were on 60.
The final scorecard featured some truly eye-popping numbers; Cutting finished with 81 off 30 for a strike-rate of 270, Bryant hit 71 off 30 with a strike-rate of 237.
Marcus Stoinis, whose earlier knock of 81 off 51 became a mere footnote to the slaughter, and Glenn Maxwell went for 24 and 22 respectively off their only overs with the ball while Daniel Worrall was the visitors’ most economical bowler by conceding 'only' 22 from his two overs.
"Bloody brilliant batting," said Stoinis. "That's as good as I've seen batting.
"They had a big game to play for and special things happen when you're playing for a special person and (McCullum) has done some amazing stuff in his career - the way he played in his final Test match.
"I've got no doubt that played a part."
Cutting, a lower-order dynamo who has been promoted to open at the back end of the season, admitted he just decided to take on the new ball in the exact same way he would the old ball.
"Opening the batting is new for me," Cutting explained. "It took me a couple of games to get my head around it.
"Speaking to a couple of coaches during the week has been really helpful to just simplify it.
"I just tried to take it like I was batting at the death like I have done for almost 10 years now. It came off well tonight."