Alex Carey's sublime 70 off 46 balls helped Adelaide reel in the victory target of 147 with five balls to spare after leg-spinning sensation Rashid Khan earlier claimed 3/19 to rip through the home side.
But the match was momentarily hijacked by a bizarre third umpire decision midway through the hosts’ innings.
The Strikers showed great sportsmanship, making the extraordinary move to withdraw their appeal and allow James Pattinson to bat on after confusion reigned over third umpire Greg Davidson's run out call.
The controversy began when a diving Pattinson appeared to make his ground after being called through for a run but Davidson inexplicably gave the red light, claiming the Heat speedster had not grounded his bat.
The umpires tried to clarify the decision with Davidson, thinking he had pushed the wrong button as livid Heat captain Chris Lynn argued with fourth official Donovan Koch on the sidelines.
Pattinson stood at the crease for minutes before he started to walk off, only to be stopped by the Strikers who sensationally withdrew their appeal.
Pattinson didn't last much longer as the Heat innings continued to crumble.
He was ultimately stumped by Carey for just four runs.
The Strikers' Jon Wells (24 not out) steered the visitors to victory in front of a crowd of 26,932 with cameo contributions from Jake Weatherald (17 runs off 13 balls) and Jake Lehmann (16 off 12) enough to guide the Strikers home.
It continues Adelaide’s undefeated run at the venue having won all four Big Bash clashes at the Gabba since the competition’s inception.
New Heat captain Chris Lynn top-scored for his side with 33 off 20 balls.
The Strikers host their first home match of the summer at Adelaide Oval against the Melbourne Renegades on Sunday as part of a huge Big Bash double-header beginning from 1:20pm. Tickets are available now!