Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Preview: Match 20 – Chennai Super Kings vs Trinidad & Tobago
Mighty CSK lock horns with eager T&T
The Chennai Super Kings and Trinidad & Tobago clash in the final Group fixture of the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013.
There is a lot riding in this match for both teams. The Chennai Super Kings, unbeaten in the tournament so far, are assured of a semi-final berth. However, the result of this match will determine where they finish in Group B standings and who their semi-final opponents are.
For Trinidad & Tobago, there is a lot more riding on this match. T&T defeated the Titans in their previous outing, but they still have the South African side breathing down their neck, with both teams level on eight points, but separated only by Net Run-Rate. A win for the team from the Caribbean will mean they will sail through to the semi-finals alongside CSK. But a defeat for the Boys in Red will get the scorers and statisticians working overtime to determine who between T&T and Titans finishes with a better Net Run-Rate and progresses to the semis.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 8 pm IST
Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
Murali Vijay’s form was the one missing link in an otherwise dominant CSK line-up. Heading into the business end of the tournament, even that one ingredient fell in place as Vijay scored a stroke-filled half-century in the team’s previous match against Brisbane Heat. However, the three players who have had the most impact on the team’s fortunes are opener Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina and skipper MS Dhoni.
Dwayne Bravo has been CSK’s go-to bowler in recent times; it will be interesting to see how he fares on a track that promises plenty of runs and against opponents who have played him often back home in the Caribbean.
The other Bravo – Darren – is the mainstay of the T&T batting line-up. The left-hander looked in supreme touch in his last two outings. He, together with Evin Lewis, who was in punishing form in the match against the Titans, will be expected to lead the way with the bat. Both batsmen have said that they have benefitted immensely from their chats with the legendary Brian Lara. Skipper Denesh Ramdin will be expected to give their innings the finishing touches.
The bowling department is certainly T&T’s strength. Ravi Rampaul got off to a great start picking up four wickets in his team’s opening match against the Titans, but has since been wicketless. Given the importance of this match, he will be expected to cause early damage again and get the likes of Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina out cheaply. The two spinners – Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine – are going to be the most important characters in the bowling plans. CSK have destructive batsmen right through their batting line-up; it will be important that these two spinners bring their A-game and peg the CSK batsmen down.
Trinidad & Tobago and CSK have clashed on one earlier occasion – in the 2011 edition of the CLT20. The T&T boys, then led by Daren Ganga, posted 123 runs on the board and then restricted a formidable CSK line-up to 111 to win by six runs.
The Chennai Super Kings have an impressive record playing at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium; they’ve been successful in four of their five outings at the venue.
The result of this match will have a bearing on the future of these two teams. CSK are assured a semi-final berth, but how they fare in this match and where they finish in the standings will determine who they take on in the semi-final. A victory for Trinidad & Tobago will assure them a passage to the semi-final, while a defeat will mean it will come down to Net Run-Rate to decide who among T&T and Titans progress to the knockouts.