Chasing 136 in any T20 game is normally a breeze. There is hardly any pressure on the side batting second since the run rate is not an issue. The only way the bowling team can win in such a situation is if someone comes up with an exceptional bowling performance. This is exactly what transpired in the game between Trinidad & Tobago and Brisbane Heat at Ranchi on Sunday. T&T were restricted to an extremely low total batting first, but their bowling effort was so good that Brisbane fell way short of the small target in the end.
The biggest factor behind Trinidad’s impressive win on Sunday was the performance of their lead paceman Ravi Rampaul. The experienced West Indian knew very well that if T&T needed to have any chance of winning the game he had to be at his very best, and Rampaul was. Right from the very start, he pitched the ball in the correct areas and troubled the batsmen. Significantly, he got the early breakthrough for his side, sending back opposition skipper James Hopes cheaply. That wicket came at the back of some probing overs and gave T&T the much-needed early momentum.
While Rampaul was brilliant early on, his performance would have been in vain had the other bowlers not supported him. It was a perfect team performance from T&T on the day. Samuel Badree also kept this extremely tight to put further pressure on Brisbane. Also, his dismissal of Peter Forrest ensured that Brisbane remained on the back foot as the required run rate also climbed up. Unlike one-day cricket, the run rate equation in T20s climbs and falls rather drastically. This is what Brisbane experienced. As they kept losing wickets, the runs dried down and within no time the equation became extremely tough.
After a poor start, if Brisbane wanted to recover, a lot depended onhow they batted against Sunil Narine. The batsmen were left with no choice but to take on the mystery spinner. Had they succeeded, Brisbane might still have had an outside chance of making a comeback in the match. But, it is very difficult to score runs against Narine leave alone take him on. The inexperienced Brisbane middle order found out the same as they succumbed to Narine’s guile. The fact that medium pacer Rayad Emrit was among the wickets only made matters worse for Brisbane.
It was not a day for batsmen as the opener Joe Burns was the only one who made a significant contribution for Brisbane. However, his knock could not make an impact since they had lost too many wickets by the time he got his eye in. In hindsight, Denesh Ramdin’s knock was extremely crucial in the context of the game. Like Brisbane, T&T also struggled with the bat, but Ramdin’s innings ensured that they ended up with something to bowl at. Brisbane’s bowlers were top-class on the day, but T&T bettered them – a good indication of how well they bowled.
--By A Cricket Analyst