Opinion is divided over Michael Neser’s stunning outfield catch that helped the Brisbane Heat secure a thrilling 15-run win over the Sydney Sixers at the Gabba.

With the Sixers 7-199 in the 19th over — in pursuit of 225 for victory — Heat all-rounder Neser caught Jordan Silk off the bowling of Mark Steketee.

Having reached the ball just inside the boundary but been unable to complete the catch while inside the rope, Neser threw the ball in the air.

He went outside the field of play, jumped to toss the ball up once more while again airborne, then completed the catch inside the boundary rope.

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It was quick-thinking and all within the rules.

“I knew (Matt) Renshaw did it a couple of years ago,” Neser told the Seven Network.

“I didn’t know if they had changed the rules so I thought I would give it a crack. Thankfully they didn’t change the rules.”

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Cricket’s lawmakers, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), took to Twitter to explained why the catch was allowed to stand.

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“The first contact must be inside the boundary, and … the fielder can’t be touching the ball and the ground beyond the boundary at the same time,” the MCC tweeted.

However, debate has been raging on Twitter over the legality of the catch.

Australian women’s international Jess Jonassen was among those who questioned whether Silk should have been given out following Neser’s catch.

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“I still don’t know how I feel about it being out,” Jonassen tweeted.

“Rules are rules though I guess.”

Retired Australian men’s Test batter Marcus North called for a law change.

“No way that should be out,” North tweeted.

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But Sydney Thunder BBL player Chris Green felt there was a place for the law in cricket.

“I’m personally a fan as it promotes spectacular boundary catches that we love to see part of the game,” Green tweeted.

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Neser’s catch to dismiss Sixers skipper Silk was the decisive moment in the run chase after the Heat quick took 3-41 with the ball.

Bat maker Brown thrills Gabba crowd

A Brisbane Heat batsman swings his bat to pull the ball to the boundary during a Big Bash game.
Josh Brown smashed a flurry of sixes and fours in a whirlwind innings of 62.(Getty Images: Russell Freeman)

Earlier in the match, unheralded Heat opener Brown produced a breathtaking innings of 62 off just 23 deliveries.

The Heat needed something special to get their season moving and Brown provided it in front of 23,689 spectators while using a bat he made himself.

He brought up his 50 in just 19 deliveries, the equal fifth fastest in Heat history in just his second BBL match.

Brown cleared the boundary six times with an assortment of scintillating strokes.

He works with Cooper Cricket founder Rod Grey. He has crafted hundreds of bats himself, and repaired thousands for his cricket mates.

“I made my own bat, the Cooper Bison … it absolutely cannons off. It is one of the new ones I made myself and I fell in love with it,” Brown said after his innings.

“All my mates call me ‘Bison’.”

Brown added: “It wasn’t until I was 24 that I started to take it seriously and then I went from third grade to Queensland Second XI in the space of 18 months”.

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Heat all-rounder Nathan McSweeney (84 off 51 balls) made a superbly paced maiden BBL half-century to lift the hosts to their highest score.

The Sixers made a gallant response in their pursuit of a BBL record run chase, but fell short to be all out from the final delivery for 209.

Openers Josh Philippe (27) and James Vince (41) took a franchise record 54 runs off the four overs of the power play in pursuit.

Silk and all-rounder Hayden Kerr (27) added 54 in 26 balls for the sixth wicket but the brilliant stumping of Kerr by Jimmy Peirson off spinner Matt Kuhnemann (2-31) proved crucial.