Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Preview : Match 6 - Titans vs Brisbane Heat
International stars give Titans edge over Brisbane Heat
KFC Big Bash League 2012/13 winners Brisbane Heat take on the Titans in Match 6 of the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013. Both teams lost their opening fixtures and will be keen to get wins under the belt, lest the gap between them and the rest of the teams in the group could grow wider quickly.
The Titans were fabulous in the first half of their match against the Chennai Super Kings, posting 185 runs on the board. But once Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey got into a punishing mood, the bowlers got rattled and pressed the panic button. The Titans should be at a better place in this match – given they will be playing against a neutral opponent, in conditions familiar to them, and because there will not be too much pressure exerted on them from those in the stands.
Brisbane Heat too were brilliant in the first half of their match against Trinidad & Tobago. The bowlers made good use of the conditions and restricted the team from the Caribbean to a modest 135. However, when it was their turn to bat, the batsmen failed to get on top of the T&T spinners, eventually folding up for 110.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 4 pm IST
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
AB de Villiers was ruthless in the match against CSK; batting at No.3, he took his time to settle down. But once he opened his shoulders, the CSK bowlers had no clue how to stop him. The runs scored by de Villiers and how often he wins games are well documented. However, what often escapes the attention is how easy run scoring becomes for the other batsmen in his team if he gets runs in the manner he does. The 29-year-old will be the central character in the Titans batting plans yet again.
In the match against CSK, the Titans bowlers were guilty of bowling 12 wide deliveries, which cost them 24 runs. In a format as crisp as T20, runs scored off every delivery could have a telling impact on the outcome of the match, and hence it is important that the Titans bowlers improve on the discipline front. Morne Morkel needs to lead the pack of bowlers, given his experience of playing at the international level and his experience of playing in India. The surface at Mohali will offer good bounce and he will be more than a handful if he can get his radar right.
The Brisbane Heat batsmen can heave a sigh of relief – there aren’t spinners of the quality of Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine in the Titans line-up and the surface at Mohali will not offer too much assistance to the spinners. Opener Joe Burns waged a lone battle in the previous match; with runs behind him, he will be expected to carry that form into this match. Among others, Peter Forrest and Daniel Christian need to chip in with more than just cameos.
The pace trio of Kemar Roach, Alistair McDermott and Ben Cutting bowled well in the match against T&T, though it was McDermott who returned with a career-best four-wicket haul. The trio will be expected to make the most of the conditions at Mohali. The off-spinner Nathan Hauritz used the round-the-wicket angle well in the previous match and he will be expected to keep things quiet at his end yet again.
Teams chasing seem to have an edge over teams batting first at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. In the 35 matches played at the venue, 23 have been won by teams chasing. Even in the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013 Qualifiers played there, five of the six matches were won by the team chasing.
In their entire 20 overs, the Brisbane Heat batsmen only managed five hits to the fence and three over it.
Both teams will to Ranchi for their next fixture in three days’ time. The Titans will take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad at 4 pm on September 28, while Brisbane Heat will clash with the Chennai Super Kings at 8 pm on the same day.