CLT20, as it happened: Titans defeat Brisbane by 4 runs in a low-scoring thriller
Defending 123, Titans seized and lost the plot till the very last over before de Lange rose to the occasion and bowled a fantastic final six deliveries to leave the Aussies reeling.
Batting was not ease under overcast skies but spirited efforts from both teams showed that low-scoring matches can be cricketing crackers as well. Titans in the end, defended 123 - the lowest total ever defended at Mohali in T20s - against Brisbane Heat. The key moments from the match are as follows.
Marchant de Lange has been declared Man of the Match for his four overs which cost just 13 runs and saw the demise of three batsmen.
Quotes: Henry Davids (skipper of the Titans) - Wickets lost us momentum when we were batting but it was good that the guys kept putting the ball in the right places (in the second innings). Good to end up on top.
1949 hrs IST: Titans register a 4-run win! de Lange bowls a splendid final over which cost just five runs to leave Brisbane in tatters.
1940 hrs IST: A six off Morkel - from Sabburg's blade- has once again put Brisbane in a favourable position and the team now needs 10 from the final over.
1937 hrs IST: WICKET! This time it's Hartley who fails to negotiate the experience of Morkel as the South African bowler delivers a power-punch at a key stage. Pendulum keeps swinging at the PCA Stadium. 20 off 11 needed.
1934 hrs IST: WICKET AND BOUNDARIES! This game is changing each delivery. Chris Lynn falls to Wiese on 14 but Sabburg slaps the same bowler for two consecutive boundaries. The equation: 20 off 12
1926 hrs IST: WICKET! James Hopes was carrying Brisbane's hopes for some late power-shots but the skipper has been dismissed by van der Merwe to put Titans in control. (Brisbane 84/5 in 16.1)
1924 hrs IST:The lowest total defended in a T20 match in Mohali ever is 146. Brisbane need another 41 from 24. Can Titans restrict them to put their name (and total of 123) in the record books?
1913 hrs IST: WICKET! Richards strikes and it is the key wicket of Christian (21 off 24) who was playing sensibly and looking on the verge of switching gears. Now, leaves behind a shattered stump in his trail.
1910 hrs IST: Clearly, Titans skipper Davids realising that this match may be slipping out of his grasp as Hopes and Christian continue to keep the scoreboard ticking. He is rotating his bowlers with a fresh sense of urgency as Brisbane now need 56 from 42.
1900 hrs IST: Hopes and Christian help bring up Brisbane's 50 in 9.5 overs. While at this stage, Titans were 22 ahead, these batsman know that if either of them leave at this stage, it can be curtains for the innings, probably on the lines of Titans' collapse.
1843 hrs IST: Brisbane still have hard-hitters in their ranks- players capable of pulling the team out of the current tight spot. Hopes has Dan Christian for company at the moment. Christian is a known power-hitter and has the international exposure to deal with sticky situations. Next in the battling line-up is Chris Lynn, followed by Chris Hartley.
1839 hrs IST: WICKETS! Two men fall in quick succession with Ben Cutting (0) following Peter Forrest (8) back. De Lange is a delighted bowler as the fifth over of the innings puts Titans on the front foot. (Brisbane: 24/3)
1834 hrs IST: Brisbane may have lost an early wicket but Hopes' presence will add weight to their confidence. Not only is their skipper an accomplished bowler - 67 wickets from 84 ODIs - but can also bat fiercely with an ODI strike rate of a little over 93. Hits Morkel for two consecutive boundaries in the fourth to show that he will not be intimidated.
1827 hrs IST: WICKET! And just the start that Titans were looking for after their shoddy performance with the bat. Brisbane lose Joe Burns (0) early as Rowan Richards' first delivery of the match gifts his side with a crucial start.
1818 hrs IST:A confident air around the Brisbane openers - Joe Burns and the non-tiring Hopes - as they make their way to chase what appears to be a fairly achievable target. Titans though throw van der Merwe in their path straightaway with Morne Morkel at the other end. This team has the bowling might to defend any total!
1808 hrs IST: Brisbane need 124! It rained from the clouds earlier today and it rained wickets a bit later as Titans' batsmen pretty much gave up towards the end. Matthew Gale's three wickets in the 19th over finishes the innings.
1756 hrs IST: Titans have a powerful batting line-up but today, the team has just wasted the platform built earlier by skipper Davids and Kuhn. A flurry of wickets due to poor shot execution has gifted Brisbane bowlers wickets at regular intervals.
1753 hrs IST: WICKET! That's the sixth wicket for Brisbane. Dan Christian forces David Wiese to pull but the batsman does his job far too well for his own liking - finds the fielder at deep mid-wicket. He scored 5. (Titans 113/6 in 15.3).
1748 hrs IST: WICKET! Brisbane players are jumping far higher for the fifth wicket than they did for the previous four. AB de Villiers' back does that to opposition as the veteran Titans' batsman is run-out after yet another horrible mix-up in the middle - the second of the innings.
1738 hrs IST: WICKET! Titans' batsmen are going for the pulls but are doing a shoddy job of the powerful cricketing shot. Van der Merwe becomes Brisbane's fourth victim as he tries to hoist Nathan Hauritz over deep mid-wicket but finds the fielder well short of the boundary rope. The batsman failed to open his account. (Titans 90/4 in 12.3)
1733 hrs IST: WICKET! Another big catch for Brisbane as the Aussies deliver twin blows. Titans lose skipper Davids - playing well on 39 off 31 - to a terrible mix-up in the middle. Hero from the previous match - AB de Villiers - walks to the middle though which means testing times begin now for the fielding side. (Titans 75/3 in 10.4)
1730 hrs IST: WICKET! Kuhn, playing incredibly well, fails to connect a pull off Ben Cutting and skies the ball. An unfortunate way to depart after a brisk 31 off 27. (Titans 70/2 in 9.4 overs)
1716 hrs IST:Another interesting battle here is between the two captains. Hopes has done reasonably well with his full quota of four overs being squeezed for 26 runs. Davids with the bat though has tried his best to carve, chip, smash and sweep him - a practice he has perfected against bowlers from the other end. Three boundaries and a strike rate of 135 for him after seven overs with his team on 52/1.
For their age, both have done really well in a format which is, as regarded by some, suited best for youngsters. Hopes is 34 years old while Davids is a year younger.
1712 hrs IST: Rudoplh's wicket brought 29-year-old Heino Kuhn to the middle and the right-hander has justified the promotion so far. He is taking Brisbane bowlers on and has smashed three boundaries to add some life to an otherwise jittery innings from Titans (32/1 in 5 overs). Kuhn played the previous match against CSK but did not get a chance to bat. A veteran of 95 first-class matches, this wicket-keeper batsman averages 43.15 with a highest score of 216*.
1710 hrs IST: The ball has served Brisbane bowlers well under slightly overcast conditions. Still early into the innings but the decision to bowl first seems to be working as the ball is nipping around remarkably at the PCA Stadium.
1654 hrs IST: WICKET! Jacques Rudoplh has been dismissed by Matthew Gale. The batsman fails to negotiate a fuller delivery and finds the fielder at cover point. This is an excellent start from Brisbane. (1/1 in 1.2 overs)
1650 hrs IST: Did you know? Brisbane Heats - the Australian BBL champions - are missing several big players like Luke Pomersbach (opted out due to family reasons), Shane Watson (playing for Rajasthan Royals), Mitchell Johnson (playing for Mumbai Indians) and Thisara Perera (playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad). If this team, somehow, still managed to provide a solid fight, it will make for an extremely intense contest.
1645 hrs IST: The players are out on the filed. Hopes to start proceedings for Brisbane with just one slip. For the Titans, it's skipper Henry Davids (52 from previous match) and Jacques Rudoplh (21 from previous match) who open with the bat.
1631 hrs IST: TOSS! Brisbane skipper James Hopes wins it and chooses to field against Titans. Clouds though continue to loom over the Mohali sky but do not look as threatening as they did a while back.
1615 hrs IST:The toss will now take place at 1615 hrs IST. So, a 15 minute wait now as match is expected to start immediately after.
1558 hrs IST: The on-field umpires have surveyed the outfield and say that have found no reason to complain. Once the ground-staff is done with its job of drying the playing area, a full match should be possible.
1550 hrs IST: Finally, some good news after two washed out matches and showers before the start of the third:
1540 hrs IST: The toss has been delayed.
1525 hrs IST:More bad news. According to the rule book, overs will start being deducted if the match does not start by 1647 hrs. While it has been drizzling here, the curator is believed to have said that he will need 45 minutes to dry the outfield once the light rain stops.
1515 hrs IST: Weather update - It is currently drizzling here at the PCA Stadium. The drainage system here is excellent but if the showers persist, this may well be a damp squib like the two matches in Ahmedabad on Monday. The mercury though is between a pleasant 19C and 27C.
1510 hrs IST: Brisbane Heat lost their opener due to some extremely shoddy batting. Chasing 135 against Trinidad and Tobago, the Aussies were bowled out on 110 (Match highlights).The likes of James Hopes, Dan Christian and Peter Forrest - batsmen with ODI exposure - will have to rise to the occasion if their team wants to avoid another shock.
1505 hrs IST: Titans had a tough first match when they took on the mighty Chennai Super Kings (Match report). The team lost by 4 wickets and skipper Henry Davids rued the extras given away. The team has some big names and will now look to correct the mistakes made previously.
1500 hrs IST: A defeat in the opening match of Champions League T20 can have morale drooping. That or it can make teams even more determined to get back to winning ways. Both Titans as well as their opponents on Tuesday - Brisbane Heat - will hope for the later as they face off at the PCA Stadium. (Read preview of the match here)