Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Preview: Match 16 - Titans vs Trinidad & Tobago
Battle of spin and pace awaits Ahmedabad
The Titans and Trinidad & Tobago will lock horns in Match 16 as the Karbonn Smart CLT2013 nears the business end of the competition. The Titans are the better placed of the two teams with two wins from three matches, while T&T have one win from two matches.
The team from the Caribbean last played a match on September 24. While the break would have given them enough time to recharge their batteries after playing two matches in three days, they will face the challenge of having to brush off the rustiness heading into this important tie.
The Titans started the tournament poorly, losing to the Chennai Super Kings before registering back-to-back wins against Brisbane Heat and Sunrisers Hyderabad. A win for the Titans in this match will guarantee them a semi-final berth, while a win for T&T will mean the suspense over which team from Group B – apart from the Chennai Super Kings who are already through to the semi-finals – will progress to the knockout stage will continue until the remaining matches are played out.
Monday, September 30, 2013, 4 pm IST
Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
AB de Villiers is rated the most dangerous player in the Titans’ ranks – and rightly so, given his outstanding record in international cricket. However, the player who has performed consistently for the South African club in this competition is their skipper Henry Davids, who has posted scores of 52, 39 and 64 in his three innings so far. Given the importance of these last few matches, it will also be vital that de Villiers – who was dismissed cheaply in the previous match against the Sunrisers – comes to the party.
On the bowling front, all eyes will be on the two lanky quicks – Morne Morkel and Marchant de Lange. Their teammate Rowan Richardson has silently gone about picking up wickets; he has not only picked up six scalps, but has also been very tidy. The surface at Ahmedabad has historically assisted slower bowlers. However, with the amount of rainfall the venue has received in recent times, the Titans will be hoping the surface will have enough life to aid quick bowlers.
Trinidad & Tobago do not have of too many big-hitters in their line-up. The opener Lendl Simmons likes hitting over the top and can make good use of fielding restrictions. However, the two batsmen who can really decimate the opposition batsmen are the left-handed Darren Bravo and the skipper Denesh Ramdin. Bravo played a scintillating innings against the Sunrisers, while Ramdin looked good in both his innings in this competition.
Ravi Rampaul has a knack of picking up wickets early on in his spell and he will be expected to do the same again. However, the two most important men in the T&T bowling attack are their spinners – Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine. How many runs the Titans score off them or how many wickets they lose to them will have a telling impact on this match.
The Trinidad & Tobago pacers and spinners have picked up seven wickets apiece. While the economy-rate of the quicks is 8.70 runs per over, the spinners have been miserly conceding runs at the rate of 5.22 per over.
In 79 T20 matches playing under other captains, Denesh Ramdin averages a dismal 15.11 with the bat. However, in the 21 T20 matches in which he led, he averages 38.11.
The Titans complete their Group campaign with this fixture and will await results from other matches to find out if they progress to the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Trinidad & Tobago will head to Delhi to play their final league fixture against the Chennai Super Kings on October 2.