The Big Bash League champion, Brisbane Heat, failed to get its act together, losing its opening Group ‘B’ match of the Champions League T20 to Trinidad & Tobago by 25 runs at the JSCA Stadium here on Sunday.
Chasing T&T’s 135 for nine in 20 overs, Heat’s run chase went awry in the face of some sustained bowling by medium-pacer Ravi Rampaul (four for 14), Rayad Emrit (two for 26) and Sunil Narine (two for 25), and it was bowled out for 110 in 18.4 overs.
Except for the 45-run third-wicket stand between Joe Burns and Daniel Christian, nothing went right for the champion side from Australia. Opener Burns top-scored with 45 off 43 balls with two fours and as many sixes, while the rest of the batsmen failed to sustain the momentum.
Asked to bat, Trinidad & Tobago’s opening pair of Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis took 10 off the first over bowled by Heat skipper James Hopes. The openers added 28 off just three overs to give their team a brisk start.
However, poor shot selection saw T&T lose two quick wickets — Darren Bravo and Lewis — and the side was soon reduced to 38 for three in the fifth over. Skipper Denesh Ramdin, who walked in at this juncture, got into the groove immediately.
The T&T skipper forged two useful partnerships to prop up the innings. He put on 33 for the fourth wicket with Jason Mohammed and 31 for the seventh with Sunil Narine to take the team past the 100-mark.
Heat off-spinner Nathan Hauritz took two wickets off two balls (Mohammed and Sherwin Ganga), but the 17-year-old left-hander Nicholas Pooran denied him a hat-trick.
Alister McDermott, son of former Australia speedster Craig, removed openers Simmons and Lewis off successive overs and returned to pick up two more (Narine and Rayad Emrit).
Ramdin, however, continued the fight in the company of Samuel Badree. He scored 48 with four boundaries and two sixes before losing his wicket to a rash shot.
Costly final over
The last-wicket pair of Badree and Ravi Rampaul plundered 16 off the final over bowled by McDermott to take the team to a fighting total of 135 for nine. Badree hit two huge sixes to remain unbeaten on 15 off seven balls. Ramdin was adjudged ‘player of the match’ for his captain’s knock.