Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Match Report: M 16 - Titans vs Trinidad & Tobago
T&T edge Titans in rain-affected thriller
The Titans had got off to a rollicking start after Jacques Rudolph picked Samuel Badree for boundaries in the second over of the innings. Skipper Henry Davids deposited Ravi Rampaul onto the roof and then picked up two more boundaries in the third over. Sunil Narine was introduced in the fourth over and he pulled the brakes immediately as he conceded only one run. In the last over of the field restrictions, Davids and Rudolph helped themselves to a six and a four respectively as the Titans raced to 64 for no loss.
Davids was dismissed in the seventh over when he missed a yorker-length delivery from Emrit and had his stumps rattled. He made 42 from 22 balls. T&T used that opening and clawed their way back into the match picking up three wickets in quick succession, including that of the well-set Rudolph. But the game was far from over as Farhaan Behardien and AB de Villiers took the fight to the T&T bowlers. The 15th over of the innings – bowled by Emrit – went for 22 runs as Behardien picked up two sixes after which de Villiers picked up two fours.
The match took another turn as Narine picked up two wickets in the 16th over. The Titans scored a few more quick runs through the association between de Villiers and Mangaliso Mosehle; they added 16 runs in eight balls, before the match took another unexpected twist. Out of almost nowhere, the heavens opened up to send the players and umpires scurrying for cover. The Umpires had to abandon the match with the Titans at 153/6 after 17 overs.
Sunil Narine was the pick of the T&T bowlers returning with figures of two for 23 from his two overs, while Simmons (2/18), Emrit (1/31) and Badree (1/33) chipped in with wickets.
Earlier in the evening, the Trinidad & Tobago batsmen took full toll of poor lengths bowled by the Titans bowlers and flayed them to all parts of the Sardar Patel Stadium. After a couple of quiet overs to begin with, Lendl Simmons perished attempting to hit the ball to the leg-side, only to see the ball come off his pads onto his stumps. Ewin Lewis broke the lull in play with some spectacular shots off Morne Morkel. Darren Bravo joined in by caressing the ball and picking up three boundaries off Marchant de Lange.
A change in the bowler did not seem to matter to Lewis who was in the zone. He hit Rowan Richards for a spectacular six over point and picked up two boundaries in the fifth over. David Wiese leaked 11 runs off his first over as T&T reached 59 after six overs and they soon raced to 99 for one at the half-way stage. Lewis was dismissed in the 13th over; he scored 70 runs from 34 balls.. The second wicket partnership was worth 109 runs and took a total of 10.4 overs.
Balls continued to fly out of the ground with Bravo picking on Roelof van der Merwe for some harsh treatment; he hit the left-arm spinner for three sixes in an over to get to his half-century. The left-hander was dismissed in the 17th over. Bravo made 63 from 44 balls and hit five boundaries and four sixes.
After cameos from Nicholas Pooran, Navin Stewart and Denesh Ramdin, T&T completed their 20 overs at 188/6.
Marchant de Lange (3/38) was the most successful of the Titans bowlers, while Morkel was the most economical, conceding only 29 runs in his four overs.
Trivia: Morne Morkel conceded 17 runs in the five deliveries he bowled to Evin Lewis. Off the remaining 19 balls he bowled to the others, he gave away only 12 runs.
The first 10 overs of the T&T innings saw 11 boundaries and five sixes being hit. In the next 10 overs, their batsmen hit three boundaries and eight sixes.
Man of the Match: Evin Lewis for his blistering innings