James Hopes top scored for Brisbane against the Titans. Picture: Getty Images/heraldsun.com.au
Big Bash champions Brisbane Heat will be looking for their first win in the Champions League Twenty20 when they face the Chennai Super Kings on Saturday night (AEST), but will have their work cut out against the competition favourites. While the Heat has suffered two defeats from as many matches in India, Chennai is two from two in the Champions League and arguably has the best short form pedigree of any T20 side in the world. The Super Kings have reached six of the seven IPL finals and were champions in 2010 and 2011, while they also followed up their first triumph in that competition by lifting the Champions League trophy in the same year.
In the absence of Luke Pomersbach and Shane Watson, the Heat has lacked firepower at the top of the order and has failed to chase targets of 136 and 124 so far in the tournament. Skipper James Hopes top scored with a scrappy 37 from 44 balls in his sides four run loss to the Titans on Tuesday but could himself down the order as Stuart Law looks for more explosive batsmen to get Brisbane off to a quick start. Dan Christian or Ben Cutting could be shock contenders to move up the order if Hopes is demoted, although Dom Michael is also waiting in the wings. Kemar Roach missed the last match with a shoulder injury but is likely to return for this fixture.
The Super Kings have scored two strong wins in the competition on the back of strong batting performances, with Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni taking just over four overs to put on a 60 run stand that propelled their side to 202 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Retired Test star Mike Hussey is a fixture at the top of the Chennai order and will be hard to dislodge, while Ravi Ashwin and Windies ace Dwayne Bravo spearhead a strong bowling attack.
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