Titans semi hopes dashed

Lendl Simmons (AFP)
Lendl Simmons (AFP)
New Delhi - The Chennai Super Kings were blown away by Trinidad & Tobago by eight wickets in the final Champions League T20 Group B match at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Wednesday, thanks to a wonderful half-century from Lendl Simmons and tight bowling from the bowlers.

The supersport.com website reports that T&T, chasing just 119 for victory, reached their target off just 15.1 deliveries which means that the men from the Caribbean seal their place in the semifinals and top spot in Group B, after Chennai were bowled out for just 118 in 19.4 overs.

Trinidad made light work of the unexpected low total by the CSK thanks to Simmons and his opening partner, Evin Lewis, as the pair scored 79 off 61 balls to set the stage. Lewis was the first wicket to fall, trapped in front by offspinner, Suresh Raina (1-16), for 38 off 35 balls, after hitting six boundaries.

The right-handed Simmons was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin (1-24) with just three runs needed, caught by Mohit Sharma on the deep mid-wicket boundary for a well-played 63 off just 41 balls. Simmons smashed four sixes and five boundaries before hitting a short ball from the offbreak bowler down Sharma's throat.

But the victory was set up by the Trinidad bowlers, after Denesh Ramdin had won the toss and decided to field first. Mike Hussey (one) fell in the second over when his stumps were dismantled by a ball that jagged back from seamer, Ravi Rampaul.

Raina and Murali Vijay then steadied the ship with a brisk 55-run partnership for the second wicket off just 39 balls before Vijay dragged a ball onto his stumps from Simmons. The right-arm seamer grabbed another wicket in his next over when he had Raina caught by Rampaul fielding at short fine leg.

Raina top scored with 38 off 29 balls while hitting three boundaries and six off Yannick Ottley. But once Raina departed, the wheels fell off as Chennai were not able to string together any partnership over 14.

MS Dhoni, who struck the fastest Champions League T20 half century earlier in the tournament, struggled with a run-a-ball 25, which included just two boundaries. The Super Kings' cause was not helped either with three of their batsmen being run out.

Rayad Emrit was the pick of the bowlers as the left-arm seamer captured three scalps for 21 runs in 3.4 overs. Simmons bowled only two overs but claimed 2-10 while Rampaul ended with 2-31 in his four overs.

The Trinidad chase never looked in doubt as Simmons and Lewis went about scoring freely and without danger, although Simmons was dropped late in the innings.

The victory means that Trinidad end top of Group B and will face the Mumbai Indians in the second semi-final on Saturday, 5 October at this same venue while CSK will travel to Jaipur to face the Rajasthan Royals in the first semi-final on Friday, 4 October.

The Champions League T20 final for 2013 will be held here, at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, on Sunday 6 October.


Chennai Super Kings:
MEK Hussey, M Vijay, SK Raina, S Badrinath, DJ Bravo, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), RA Jadeja, JA Morkel, JO Holder, R Ashwin, MM Sharma

Trinidad and Tobago: LMP Simmons, E Lewis, DM Bravo, KYG Ottley, D Ramdin (capt & wk), N Pooran, SP Narine, RR Emrit, ND Stewart, S Badree, R Rampaul

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