In a first, the fifth edition of the Champions League Twenty20 left the honours between bowling and batting on an even keel.
If Neil Broom and Ryan ten Doeschate set the stadia alight with their pyrotechnics, the likes of Marchant de Lange and Rowan Richards shone with the ball, striking at key points and turning the game around for their side.
Bowlers have been at the receiving end of vicious onslaughts from the batsmen, but they have also come back brilliantly to turn things around.
Here is a list of the top five performers who starred with the ball in this edition:
5. Marchant de Lange (Titans – 7 wickets)
Indian crowds got their first glimpse of the young seamer from South Africa when he turned out for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.
Unusually for a pacer, de Lange bowls off a rather short run up, but still generates enough speed and extracts enough bounce to trouble the batsmen – a remnant of his javelin-throwing days, similar to former Aussie quick Jeff Thomson.
The Titans were bowled out for a measly 123 by the Brisbane Heat, led by a sublime effort from Matthew Gale. But de Lange had other plans, pulling his side out of the woods with a remarkable performance, striking twice in his first over before returning for a tense last over where he took his third wicket and ended the Heat’s pitiful struggle.
His 3/13 and a nerveless final over fetched him the Man of the Match award, but he couldn’t replicate his heroics as his team bowed out of the competition. Nevertheless, South Africa has unveiled yet another addition to their fearsome fast bowling stocks.