Michael Lumb won the battle of the big-hitting openers as Sydney Sixers chased 173 to win against the Melbourne Renegades today.
The Nottinghamshire left-hander struck five sixes on his way to an explosive 63 off 35 balls, ensuring that the visitors recovered from 21-2 to pass their challenging total with seven balls to spare.
Chris Gayle had earlier scored 46 off 33 balls for the Renegades whose total of 172-4 was thought to be well above par in testing conditions for batsmen.
Former West Indies international Dwayne Bravo and 25-year-old Aussie Tom Beaton closed the home side's innings with a rapid unbroken partnership of 78 in 6.4 overs.
The Sixers' response was initially pedestrian as Brad Haddin perished to the second ball of the innings and Nick Maddinson (17) was deceived by Nathan Rimmington.
Lumb, who had faced just four balls at that stage, was stranded at the non-strikers end with the required run-rate having already spiralled to over ten runs per over.
The 35-year-old got up and running with a pair of boundaries off Gayle, but remained largely circumspect until set prior to launching a vicious mid-innings assault.
Cameron Stevenson twice disappeared through the off-side for four and, having over-compensated by dropping short, Lumb tucked-in over midwicket for six.
Chris Tremain was planted over extra-cover for a maximum, but it was the left-arm spin of Xavier Doherty that came in for particularly rough treatment from the Nottinghamshire man.
The Australian international’s final over was pummelled for three sixes - twice on the slog-sweep and once inside-out over cover - as Lumb and Moises Henriques (62 off 38) added 101 in 9.3 overs for the third wicket.
The Notts and Sixers opener was finally out off the first ball of the 14th over, caught behind chasing a wide one from Rimmington, leaving the 2014 beaten finalists with 51 more required from 6.5 overs.
The former Derbyshire and Plumtree opening bowler was to finish with 4 for 26 as a cluster of late wickets sent tremors through the Sydney dugout.
But Trent Lawford eased Bravo down the ground for four to ensure that Lumb’s great work wasn’t undone, as the Sixers reached their highest ever successful BBL chase in a three wicket win.
The 2015 season has seen dramatic last-gasp four day victories, thrilling limited-overs contests and an historic Investec Ashes Test, all in the unique surroundings of Trent Bridge.
Next season, we’d wager, will be no less enthralling and frankly we’d hate for you to miss out.