THE Brisbane Heat's Big Bash League finals' hopes might almost be over, but plenty of excitement surrounds emerging batsman Sam Heazlett.
The 20-year-old made an impressive debut in the Heat's thrilling 15-run loss to Hobart on Tuesday night, hitting 26 from 24 balls in his team's fourth-straight loss in the tournament.
The Redlands product had given a glimpse of his potential with 129 and 78 for Queensland in his Sheffield Shield debut against Tasmania last month.
While Heat captain Chris Lynn hit an amazing 101 from 51 against the Hurricanes to take man-of-the-match honours in a losing team, Australian legend Adam Gilchrist couldn't contain his excitement about Heazlett's BBL debut.
"Queensland cricket has unveiled a beauty," the former wicketkeeper-batsman said in commentary.
What struck most of the near-30,000 crowd was the composure Heazlett displayed, almost from the minute he walked out to bat.
His first scoring shot was a 93m six which he hammered back over the head of Hurricanes paceman Jake Reed.
"It's funny - some club games you go out and you're nervous as anything, and sometimes you can play for Queensland and for some reason the nerves aren't there," Heazlett told APN.
"Keep it simple - watch the ball, hit the ball. That's what I try to tell myself."
The physiotherapy student said his BBL debut capped what had been a year to remember.
"I'm stoked with the opportunities I've been given this year. Hopefully I've made the most of them with my debuts," he said.
"The key is consistency and to keep scoring runs. That's my challenge now."
Meanwhile, Heazlett's teammates at the Heat are faced with an even steeper challenge.
The team must win all four of its remaining preliminary matches, and hope other results go their way, or face missing the finals for the third-straight season.
The first of those is against the first-placed Sydney Thunder at the Gabba on Sunday night, Lynn saying "it's probably easier when it's do or die.
"You've just got to throw all your cards at the opposition, be more aggressive with the ball and field settings, and have no fear with the bat," the century-maker said.
"The year we won it (in 2013) we did exactly that."
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