Former Hobart Hurricanes star Dunk was in a murderous mood, belting 85 off 43 balls, as Brisbane’s imposing 5-206 looked within reach.
With Dunk at the crease dispatching the Heat bowlers to all corners and Jake Weatherald’s nerveless 52 on his BBL debut, the home side were well placed.
The pair put on 133 off 67 balls for the opening wicket before both holed out in the space of eight balls.
Dunk’s exit and the introduction of West Indian spinner Samuel Badree, who stifled Travis Head with a maiden in the 14th over, halted Adelaide’s momentum, which the home side was never able to recapture.
Head (23) never quite got going, eventually top-edging a catch to Badree off leg-spinner Mitch Swepson, who bowled a fine 18th over.
Kieron Pollard (one) and Jake Lehmann (first ball duck) had their castles disturbed, the home side fading at the death, finishing on 6-196.
Mark Steketee was the pick of the bowlers with 3-32 while Ben Cutting grabbed 2-46.
Earlier, Alex Ross cracked 64 against his old side to build on the foundation laid by Heat keeper Jimmy Peirson (46) and Brendon McCullum (42) who smashed 90 in the first eight overs.
Former Black Caps master blaster McCullum should have been run out on 35 and was grassed by Kane Richardson before Pollard (2-27) snared Peirson and McCullum off successive deliveries.
Pollard further shifted the momentum after his high-leaping catch at deep midwicket sent dangerman Chris Lynn (29) packing.
The scoring rate temporarily slowed before Ross took charge.
Ross paid tribute to Badree’s match-turning 14th-over maiden, on the back of Dunk’s dismissal.
“In hindsight it was a pivotal over – it turned the game,” Ross said.
“Then Cutts and Stek at the end, under pressure were awesome.
“If we can do that all season we’ll be a very tough team to beat.”
“When you’re chasing over 200, everything needs to go right,” Dunk said.
“Between us (Dunk and Weatherald), we gave ourselves a chance.
“Full credit to the Heat, they bowled really good death bowling and we couldn’t quite get the job done.”
Ross revealed he was the subject of some verbal barbs from his former Adelaide Strikers teammates before having the last laugh.
Ross, who switched from Adelaide to Brisbane in February, copped it mostly from Strikers skipper Brad Hodge after walking out to the middle to a few boos from the outer.
“There were a few cheeky words,” Ross said.
“There were a few more lippy players than what I actually would have thought… they might have got a bit of confidence from the boos in the crowd.
“He (Hodge) had a few kind words for me. It’s all in good fun, it’s professional sport.”
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