Narine leads the highest wicket-takers tally with eight scalps
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, 4 October
Two aggressive and in-form sides will clash in a battle of equals when Mumbai Indians face off against West Indian outfit Trinidad and Tobago in the second semi-final of the Champions League Twenty20, here tomorrow.
It promises to be an even contest with both teams coming off big wins. While Mumbai thrashed the Perth Scorchers by six wickets, T&T annihilated two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets in their last league encounter. Both teams fought their way into the semi-final stage when they faced a must-win situation in their final group matches and did it in style on 2 October at the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium. 2011 champions Mumbai and T&T seem evenly-matched on paper as both teams boast of big match-winners in Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul and Darren Bravo. There is no doubt that the star-studded Mumbai side would do everything in their power to reach the final of the Champions League and give a fitting farewell to their iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar by lifting the trophy for the second time. Tendulkar is playing his last Champions League tournament after announcing his retirement from the Indian Premier League this year. Even though the Mumbai outfit did not get off to an ideal start as they suffered a defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals in the opening match before their second tie was washed out, they came back strongly to stamp their authority against the Lions and Scorchers in Group ‘A’. Mumbai would look for nothing less than a repeat of their dominating show against the Scorchers where both their batsmen and bowlers fired in unison.
For T&T, medium-pacer Rayad Emrit (3 for 21) was the most successful bowler while Ravi Rampaul claimed two wickets besides Simmons. Mystery spinner Sunil Narine kept a tight leash on CSK but went without a wicket. However, they face another tough test in the Mumbai Indians. The T&T side was blessed by a Duckworth-Lewis win over Titans after they were blown away by Sunrisers Hyderabad. They got the better of the South African side by six runs to shrug off the loss against the Sunrisers after starting convincingly against Brisbane Heats of Australia. The team would be expecting Evin Lewis, Simmons and Denesh Ramdin to keep up the batting momentum and take the side home in a crucial clash. On the bowling front, they would again be dependant on pacer Rampaul and Narine to deliver the goods and the duo has done a decent job so far. Narine leads the highest wicket-takers tally with eight scalps in the competition. With short boundaries at the Kotla stadium coupled with a flat deck, high scores are expected.