Sport

Nathan catches glory, Heat to play in T20 Champions League

Nathan Hauritz is hoisted in the air by his Brisbane Heat teammates after catching out Perth's Shaun Marsh during the Big Bash League T-20 final.
Nathan Hauritz is hoisted in the air by his Brisbane Heat teammates after catching out Perth's Shaun Marsh during the Big Bash League T-20 final. AAP / Lincoln Baker

IN 2009 Nathan Hauritz helped New South Wales win the lucrative T20 Champions League in India, and now the off-spinner has the chance to do it again - with the Brisbane Heat.

The Heat will head to India or England - the venue is still to be decided - later this year to contest the $13million tournament, which includes a massive $2.4million to be shared by the winning team, and they will arrive as Australian champions after beating the Perth Scorchers by 34 runs in the Big Bash League final at the WACA on Saturday night.

It was an impressive result when you consider the Heat lost three of their first four games this season, and so bad was their form that the bookies had them at $41 to win the tournament.

They secured their place in the finals only after an upset win over the Hurricanes in Hobart in the last round of the regular season.

Although they didn't play well at the start of the season, they did when it mattered the most ... in the finals.

They sent the much-fancied Melbourne Renegades packing in the semi-final to set up the showdown at The Furnace with the Scorchers.

Hauritz, the former Hervey Bay junior, who moved back home to Queensland this season after spending six years with NSW, played a leading role in the win against the red-hot favourites.

The 31-year-old was named man of the match after his inspired performance in the field.

He opened the bowling and conceded just 11 runs in his three overs and took three stunning catches to help restrict the hosts to 9 for 133 off their 20 overs in reply to the Heat's 5 for 167.

Among those he caught in the deep was Scorchers danger man, opener Shaun Marsh, the leading runscorer in the competition.

Hauritz, who has played in 17 Tests, 58 ODIs and three Twenty20s for Australia, said it was great to win a MOM award ... for fielding.

"I was shocked to receive it to be honest - I thought DC (Dan Christian) would have got it," he said.

"It is the first one-day MOM award I have won - Kemar (West Indian paceman Kemar Roach, who took his best Heat figures of 3 for 18 off 4 overs) and I were having a laugh afterwards, saying we are big-game players.

As for his catches, Hauritz said they were "not that hard".

"We had done a lot of catching work since the semi-final (the Heat dropped four in the outfield), but it is easier to field at night at WACA, than in the day," he said modestly.

"I am just glad I didn't drop them because I was copping it from the crowd all night, so it felt great to catch them and give a bit back."

Topics:  bbl, big bash league, brisbane heat, cricket, nathan hauritz, perth scorchers, t20 champions league


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