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Burns slump deepens as Heat beat Sixers

Axed Test player Joe Burns’s horror run with the bat has continued despite Brisbane’s Big Bash League win over the Sydney Sixers at the Gabba.

Playing his first game for the Heat this summer on Saturday after he was dumped by Australia, Burns made one off seven nervy deliveries as the Heat kept their slim finals hopes alive with a four-wicket win over the reigning BBL champions.

The latest failure deepens a bad run of form for Burns in which he’s made just two scores greater than 11 in 14 innings this summer.

Despite that poor return, Heat captain Jimmy Peirson is backing the 31-year-old to turn things around as the Heat attempt to put a run of form which will get them in the finals hunt.

“He’s obviously going through a tough time, but he’s a professional and I know what he’s capable of,” Peirson said.

“There’s runs around the corner for him in this format.

“That might be the leapfrog he needs at the back end of this year, and leading into the rest of the Shield year as well.”

Ex-Test quick Jackson Bird, brought back into the Sixers’ XI following the end of West Indies captain Jason Holder’s BBL stint, was the man to remove Burns and finished with 1-26 off his four overs.

Ben Dwarshuis and Dan Christian were the pick of the Sixers’ bowling lineup, picking up two wickets each for the visitors.

Opener Max Bryant top-scored with 40 off 23 deliveries for the Heat, with English import Lewis Gregory (31no off 16) and Jack Wildermuth (22no off 10) steering the home team to just their second win of the summer with an unbeaten 50-run partnership.

It’s the second time in three games Gregory has played a key role in a Heat victory.

“If your imports are winning you games that’s what you bring them in for,” Peirson said.

“A name that probably isn’t household-known in Australia, he’s now starting to show what he can do, which is fantastic.”

Earlier, Heat paceman Mark Steketee claimed career-best Twenty20 bowling figures as the Sixers made 8-165 after choosing to bat first.

Steketee picked up 4-33 off his four overs to be the best of the home team’s bowlers.

The tall quick had dismissed key Sixers batsmen Daniel Hughes (2) and Carlos Brathwaite (0) cheaply before picking up the wickets of Jordan Silk (43 off 27) and Benjamin Manenti (0) off consecutive balls in his final over.

Opener Josh Philippe top-scored for the Sixers with 48 off 36.

A cameo innings by Dwarshuis (24 not out off 16) provided a late boost to the Sixers’ total which Hughes said was always likely to prove hard to defend.

“I sort of knew when Gregory and Wildermuth were in I always wanted one more wicket,” Hughes said.

“They’re both pretty dangerous players … I thought if we could do that, get them seven down, we’d be in with a chance. Wasn’t to be tonight.”

The Sixers play Adelaide on the Gold Coast on Sunday with the Heat’s next match on Monday at the Gabba against the Sydney Thunder.

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