Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Match Report: M 6 – Titans vs Brisbane Heat
Disciplined Titans overcome Heat in a nail-biter
The Brisbane Heat run-chase was rocked early on when Joe Burns, Peter Forrest and Ben Cutting were dismissed with just 24 runs on the board. Skipper James Hopes and Daniel Christian then stitched together a 44-run partnership to put the run-chase back on track. However, after Christian lost his middle stump attempting to hit Rowan Richards out of the park, the rest of the batsmen caved in, not being able to withstand the pressure exerted by the Titans bowlers and a fast-mounting required rate.
BRI were in the game until their skipper Hopes was out in the middle. The 34-year-old held firm at one end, but his dismissal in the 17th over all but brought the curtains down on his team’s chase. A late cameo from Chris Sabburg took the Heat to the brink; but his dismissal at the start of the last over – by means of a run-out – put a lid on the chase.
For the Titans, the bowlers and fielders were outstanding. First and foremost, there was an improvement in their discipline; defending a low total they could not afford to concede extras like they did in their previous match and they did not – they conceded just four wides in the innings. Marchant de Lange finished the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/13 from his four overs, while Rowan Richards picked up two wickets. Morne Morkel, David Wiese and Roelof van der Merwe chipped in with a wicket each.
Earlier in the evening, after rain delayed the start of the match by 45 minutes, BRI skipper James Hopes won an important toss and had no hesitation in putting the Titans in. Debutant Matthew Gale struck with his second delivery when he had the experienced Jacques Rudolph caught at point. In a surprise move, the Titans promoted Heino Kuhn to No.3. The move seemed to work as he and skipper Henry Davids wrested the initiative back with an entertaining partnership. Just when it looked like the Titans were well and truly on course for a total in excess of 150.
The 69-run partnership was broken in the 10th over when Kuhn (31) miscued one from Ben Cutting. Skipper Davids was run-out in the 11th over for a well-compiled 39. Dangerman AB de Villiers, who played a blinder in the match against the Chennai Super Kings, looked good yet again striking four boundaries before he was involved in a misunderstanding with Farhaan Behardien and was run-out for 28.
That was followed by a major collapse; the remaining batsmen walked in, threw their bats around and fell like a pack of cards. From 107/5 – when de Villiers was dismissed in the 15th over – the Titans folded for 123 with seven deliveries remaining in their allotted 20 overs.
For BRI, debutant Gale had a memorable T20 debut picking up four wickets in 2.5 overs. Daniel Christian (2/16), Ben Cutting and Nathan Hauritz were the other wicket-takers.
Trivia: The Titans innings was a story of two ends. They scored 77 runs in nine overs and lost four wickets at one end (Scoring Rate 8.56), while at the other end they scored 46 runs in 9.5 overs and lost six wickets (at 4.67).
Marchant de Lange’s four-over spell had 14 dot balls.
Man of the Match: Marchant de Lange,for his three-wicket haul