Ben Cutting (left) and Jimmy Peirson of the Heat celebrate a dismissal.
Ben Cutting (left) and Jimmy Peirson of the Heat celebrate a dismissal. DAVID MARIUZ

Heat star thrilled to play at sold-out Gabba

CRICKET: Brisbane Heat's Ben Cutting says the squad is pretty excited to play in front of the first sell-out Big Bash crowd at the Gabba tonight against the Hurricanes.

The Heat is on top of the ladder after back-to-back wins over the Adelaide Strikers and the Sydney Thunder to begin its BBL06 campaign.

The record Gabba crowd for a BBL match is 33,783, which was recorded during last year's clash against the Strikers.

Cutting says while the competition has grown in popularity in the past few years, the form of the side has something to do with the sellout.

"It's pretty exciting (to have a capacity crowd),” he said.

"But also I think that winning two from two has something to do with it.

"That's certainly something that's unprecedented in Brisbane Heat history.”

Cutting said the captaincy of Brendon McCullum and the coaching of fellow New Zealander Daniel Vettori had breathed new life into the Heat's BBL challenge after missing the semi-finals every year since winning the title in 2013.

"It's a bit like when Darren Lehmann coached us in the first season of the BBL and then led us to the title in his second year,” Cutting said.

"With Vettori into his second year of coaching us, he has been able to sink his teeth into the job a bit more.

"With Brendon, his captaincy is all about being unpredictable.

"If you set the fields the same way it can be predictable and he tries to make it a little bit different.”

Chris Lynn's unbeaten innings of 81 led the Heat to a three-wicket victory against the Thunder at Spotless Stadium on Wednesday night.

Chasing 157, the Brisbane outfit looked out of contention at one stage when it fell to 6-65.

But Cutting said he always thought they were a chance of winning because of the depth of the Heat's batting line-up.

"Even when myself and Jason Floros got out I thought we could still win,” he said.

"Of course with Lynny there we were always a chance, but we bat so low with Jack Wildermuth, who is a good all-rounder, coming in at eight and Mark Steketee is no mug with the bat.”

Cutting said the Hurricanes had plenty of pace in their attack in the form of England international Stuart Broad and former Australian quick Shaun Tait, but said that might work against the Hobart side.

"Pace is not necessarily a good thing at the Gabba,” he said.

"Because of the short boundaries and the true wickets it is easier to get the ball to the fence.

"In the past games between the Heat and Hurricanes have been 200 against 200, so it will all come down to who can defend the last three overs the better.”

Vettori has named an unchanged squad for tonight's clash.

The record Gabba crowd for a BBL match is 33,783.



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