By BV Swagath
The CLT20 organizers’ decision of going ahead with today’s matches in Ahmedabad despite the bad weather forecast has backfired. Rain not only gave an abrupt finish to the crucial match between Trinidad & Tobago and Titans but also threatens to wash out the next match between the Sunrisers and Brisbane Heat at this same venue. There was enough action in the first game this evening to allow Trinidad and Tobago to hold onto a 6-run win over Titans as per the D/L Method.
Titans have slipped to the third position below T & T with 2 wins and 2 defeats in their four matches. T&T are sitting pretty behind table toppers Chennai Super Kings with 2 wins and a defeat in three games. They still have a match to play against the Chennai Super Kings and a win over them will definitely guarantee them as the second semi-finalist from Group B. But it would be a tough battle for T&T to beat CSK, who are already into the Semis. If T&T loses against them, then the Titans will stand a chance of making it to the Semis instead of them depending on the final net run rates.
Asked to bat first after losing the toss, Trinidad & Tobago were taken to a huge total of 188 for 4. An early wicket from Marchant de Lange in the 2nd over opened the gates for a big partnership between Evin Lewis and Darren Bravo. Opener Evin Lewis scored a spectacular 70 from just 35 balls with 7 fours and 5 sixes. Darren Bravo, his partner in a terrific 2nd wicket stand of 109, smacked 63 from 44 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes. All-rounder Navin Stewart played his part in providing the finishing touches with a 15-ball 23. Marchant de Lange was the most successful bowler for Titans taking 3 for 38.
Titans got off to a fiery start of 65 in 6.4 overs before Skipper Henry Davids (42 from 22 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes) was dismissed by a Rayad Emrit yorker. T&T bounced back superbly after its first breakthrough to reduce their opponents to 88 for 4 by the 11th over with part-time medium pacer Lendl Simmons striking twice. There was a fightback from Farhaan Behardien who hit three sixes in a 19-ball 29 before getting out slogging Sunil Narine. Two balls later, Narine struck again removing David Wiese to leave the Titans pegged back at 137 for 6 in the 16th over.
Rain arrived at Ahmedabad with Titans at 153 for 6 in 17 overs needing 36 more runs to win from 18 balls. Poor Titans could have got to the target realistically speaking as they had their star batsman AB de Villiers batting quite well on 23* from 13 balls. Rain certainly came at the right time for T&T with Titans just the six runs behind the par total of 160. Evin Lewis was named as the Man of the Match for his 35-ball 70.