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Titans prevailed over Brisbane Heat in a low-scoring Champions League T20 thriller as both teams, by turns, suffered and recovered from collapses at the PCA Stadium here, on Tuesday night. For the Australian outfit Heat, this was the second match in succession that they failed to chase down a moderately sized total.
Having made a hash of Trinidad and Tobago’s 135 in their first match, Heat fared even worse chasing Titans' 123, a target set after a deplorable batting implosion, but defended by four runs through fast bowler Marchant de Lange. This deals a serious blow to Heat's chances of making it to the next stage of the tournament.
de Lange was the star of the show as he finished with 3/13 off his four overs. He kept a check on scoring in the early overs, and then came back to bowl a terrific last over when Heat needed ten runs for victory, with only three wickets remaining.
The end came when left-handed Chris Sabbarg, whose spate of hits had kept Heat alive in the contest, was run out trying to farm the strike on the first delivery of the last over, and Titans scraped through by the proverbial skin of their teeth. Left-arm spinner Roelof van de Merwe had earlier removed the captain James Hopes, whose top-score of 37 was threatening to assume the proportions of a match-winning knock.
Sent in to bat after rain had delayed the start by 45 minutes, Titans, in keeping with teams from their country, choked badly and throttled themselves to near death, from the safety of 90/3 in the 13th over, to the embarrassment of 123 all out in the 19th.
They seem to have have recovered from opener Jacques Rudolf’s second over dismissal, racing ahead through Henry Davis (39) and Heino Kuhn (31) as medium pacers Hopes and Alister Mc Dermott were taken apart. But Davids was run out trying to steal a sharp single and five runs later, Kuhn followed him to the pavilion in the 11th over.
AB de Villiers (28) looked imperious as he struck boundaries off Cutting and Lynn and looked set for another blistering knock. But de Villiers' stay was run-out by all-rounder Farhan Behardien, who in the heat of the moment failed to sacrifice his wicket for his captain’s.
The South African side lost their last six wickets for 16 runs. Notwithstanding the batsmen’s intent of swiping big only to get out, Twenty20 debutant Matthew Gale capitalized with 4/10 in 2.5 overs. But even that was not enough as Heat fared miserably with the bat.
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