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Sloppy Thunder go down to Heat in BBL

AAP logoAAP 28/12/2016 Darren Walton

Andre Russell might need a new bat - because his controversial black and pink one isn't working.

Nor were his hands as the Sydney Thunder fumbled their way to a comical BBL loss to Brisbane Heat on Wednesday night.

The Thunder looked to have the game in the bag before the Heat - reeling at 6-83 after 14 overs - blasted 75 runs off the last six to snatch victory.

Big-hitting Chris Lynn was the chief destroyer, blasting an unbeaten 85 off 48 balls to help the Heat eclipse the Thunder's 7-157 with two balls to spare.

The loss leaves the Thunder's title defence in tatters, the champions winless after three games.

Even their own fans turned on them at Spotless Stadium, booing the Thunder off the ground after a series of late dropped catches cost them dearly.

Returning skipper Shane Watson and Russell were among the culprits with both bat and ball.

After much fuss, Russell made just eight.

He received a rousing reception when he strode to the crease with his colourful bat the talking point of the tournament.

His weapon of choice had been banned after match officials discovered it had marked the white ball in last week's Sydney derby against the Sixers.

Russell received a reprieve following some handy lamination work from manufacturers.

But he still only lasted 10 balls before falling to Ben Cutting and has now scored a total of just 19 runs in three innings.

With Watson also failing, bowled for a duck by Mark Steketee after missing his side's opening two defeats with a calf injury, the Thunder had to look elsewhere for runs.

Opener Kurtis Patterson's 36 helped, as did Eoin Morgan's 52 from 43 balls.

But it was three consecutive sixes from Curtis Green - who finished unbeaten on 22 - off the last three balls of the innings that suddenly gave the Thunder hope.

When Pat Cummins cleaned bowled dangerman Brendon McCullum for four and Green did likewise to Test discard Joe Burns (10), Ahmed Fawad turned the screws with two more quick wickets to have the Heat staring down the barrel.

But Lynn's spectacular knock - aided by a series of spilt catches - ensured the Heat snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

It may well have been a different story had Russell not spilt a routine boundary catch over the ropes, allowing the Heat's Jack Wildermuth a priceless six - then another the following ball - before being dismissed.

Further dropped catches, including a sitter put down by Watson in the final over, handed the Heat the ultimate get-out-of-jail-for-free card.

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