Yesterday after defeating Chennai Super Kings in the semifinals at Jaipur, Rajasthan grabbed the bragging rights to be at one end in the CLT20 finals that is scheduled to take place in New Delhi on October 6, 2013. The fight for the other place is quite a surprising one with the IPL champions Mumbai Indians taking on Caribbean T20 giants Trinidad and Tobago in the second semi finals.
No one would have expected these two teams to face off each other in the semi finals of the 2013 Champions League T20. But the last match day in the league phase of the tournament had few surprises in store for the fans. It needed a herculean effort from Mumbai Indians to displace Otago Volts from the semi final line up.
They chased down 150 runs in less than 13 overs and stormed into the semis that had some chances of a possible face off with their arch rivals Chennai Super Kings. But Chennai’s loss to Trinidad and Tobago saw them drop a place to second in the points table. With that result Trinidad topped Group B and is pitted against Mumbai Indians in the Semi Finals. The semi finals is scheduled to take place at the Ferozeshah Kotla, Delhi and the start of the match is just hours away.
Here is the overall preview of the second semi finals of the 2013 CLT20.
Recent Form: W W NR L W
Possible Playing XI: Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rohit Sharma (captain), Kieron Pollard, Glenn Maxwell, Ambati Rayudu, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rishi Dhawan, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha.
They sneaked into the semis at the expense of Otago Volts who impressed everyone throughout the tournament.
Rohit Sharma proved his teammates right for calling him “Hit Man” inside the dressing room. He led from the front with a devastating knock of 51 off 24 balls that helped Mumbai cross the target in the stipulated overs. He was ably supported by Dwayne Smith who started the innings off with a flier with some initial blitz. Keiron Pollard also played a second fiddle to Rohit Sharma.
Ambati Rayudu and Glenn Maxwell too were in good touch but the form of their senior statesman Sachin Tendulkar should worry the Mumbai team management a lot. He didn’t have the kind of farewell tournament he would have dreamt of.
Their bowling department looks good with Aussie import Nathan Coulter-Nile calling the shots right. He is ably supported by Rishi Dhawan. Delhi’s pitch, which assists the spinners, will provide Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha what to show they are capable of. The bowlers will look to pick some early wickets in T&T’s batting line up thereby applying a brake in their run rate.
Mumbai will be happy with the fact that Kotla is a small ground in which even miss hit will carry into the stands. With the kind of power hitters Mumbai Indians have, it will be a walk in the park against Sunil Narine & Co.
Trinidad and Tobago:
Recent Form: WWLWW
Possible Playing XI: Lendl Simmons, Ewin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Yannick Ottley, Denesh Ramdin (captain and wk), Nicholas Pooran, Navin Stewart, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Rayad Emrit, Samuel Badree.
Since the finals of inaugural Champions League T20 against New South Wales Blues in 2009, Trinidad & Tobago failed to reach the knockouts for another time. This time around, they entered the semi finals as table toppers from group B after beating Chennai Super Kings. The players will be high on confidence and are raring to go to earn a spot in the finals.
Bowling has been their key strength and their bowlers will look dominate Mumbai batsmen. The bowling department is led by Ravi Rampaul who is lethal with the new ball.
He along with Samuel Badree controls the run flow in the power play overs and set the stage for their mystery spinner Sunil Narine to apply pressure on the batsman to go after him which could be fatal for the batsman.
Lendl Simmons has been doing well as a bowler and will look to continue the good form with the ball in his hand. The form of Rayad Emrit has been a worry for Ramdin and his team. He has been leaking runs in the tournament and that hurts the team badly.
Their batting line up too looks settled with Lendl Simmons getting into the groove against Chennai Super Kings. His opening partner Ewin Lewis looks to go after the bowling from the first ball of his innings.
The responsibility of carrying the team forward lie in the broad shoulders of Brian Lara’s Xerox copy Darren”Lil” Bravo. He is in great form and has scored two consecutive fifties in the tournament. Navin Stewart uses the long handle effectively in the slog overs. Ramdin and the tailenders are also chipping in with some quick 20’s.
Promising Nicholas Pooran, who was considered as the next big thing in West Indian cricket before the tournament began has not proved his worth yet. He is in due for a big knock. With Kotla being a small ground, it cannot get better for Pooran to show the world what he is capable of.
Trinidad and Tobago will look to get past the Mumbai Indians and look to emulate their best performance in a CLT20.
With Rajasthan Royals booking their place in the finals, will the result of the second semifinals come in favour of an all Indian finals? Or will T&T continue their giant killing spree in the CLT20’s?