Helmet cam captures Birt’s close call

The newly introduced helmet cam may be a hit with Big Bash League fans, but for a horrible moment Travis Birt worried that it could contribute to his downfall at the Gabba last night.

The Hobart Hurricanes number three’s unbeaten, match-winning 57 sent his side to an eight-wicket victory over the Brisbane Heat with an over to spare at the Gabba last night.

But his knock, part of a 95-run stand with Owais Shah (32 not out) wasn’t without drama.

In the 16th over he looked to pull a short ball from last-minute Heat signing Thisara Perera but only managed a thin edge and the ball ended up in keeper Chris Hartley’s gloves.

Sporting the helmet cam, worn by the Heat’s Shane Watson earlier in the afternoon, Birt watched as the ball, Hartley’s gloves and the turf came together seemingly simultaneously.

The umpires conferred and decided the ball hit grass before glove and Birt was there at the end as Shah hit Cameron Gannon to the fence for the winning runs with a full over to spare.

After the match he joked that the helmet cam may have contributed to his downfall.

“I was wearing the helmet cam and I would have been quite annoyed if they’d used that (footage) and turned around and given me out,” he said.

“I got a good look at it and I knew that it bounced and I knew that Harts thought it had bounced as well. You can’t really see on the footage but I think the right decision was made, and that’s not just because it was me.”

Despite tight spells from Nathan Hauritz (0-17 off three), Watson (0-18 off three) and Ben Cutting (0-19 off three), the Heat failed to get the wickets needed to stem the flow of runs from the Hurricanes.

Earlier, Dan Christian (49) and Joe Burns (44) helped the Heat set the visitors a total of 173 for victory in front of a crowd of 14,057.

The chase got off to a good start with Jon Wells(39) and Tim Paine (29) both getting their eyes in, but it went into overdrive when Shah and Birt came together at 2-80 in the 11th over.

Birt said when the free-swinging import came to the crease it helped him open his shoulders as well.

“I was struggling right up until Owais came out and it took for him to bang a couple over the boundary to get me into gear,” he said.

“He’s the ultimate professional. He’s a real gun, and he’s not a big-name signing like some of the other teams have made, but he’s an effective guy and we’ve got him wrapped up for the next two years.

“He hasn’t played any cricket and he just came out there and was unbelievable.”

Shah and Birt combined for four sixes and eight boundaries, but a six-over spell from Cutting and Hauritz managed to slow the scoring in the middle overs.

However, Birt said he never doubted his side’s ability to chase down the runs.

“You know you can score quickly late and we had wickets in the shed as well,” he said.

“For me personally I just needed to find the middle of the bat and once Owais came out I started to.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.


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