New Delhi: Lendl Simmons dished out an excellent all round performance as Trinidad and Tobago upset the mighty Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets to make the semi-finals of the Champions League T20 on Wednesday.
So dominating was the Caribbean team at Kotla that they chased down the moderate Super Kings’ score of 118 in only 15.1 overs to grab the top spot in the group. They will take on Mumbai Indians in the semi-finals at the Kotla on Saturday. Super Kings, on the other hand, would now travel to Jaipur to play against Rajasthan Royals in the other semi-final match on Friday.
Both Trinidad and Tobago and Super Kings finished with 12 points, but the West Indians went to the top position because of a better run-rate.
Simmons was undoubtedly the star of the day. First the medium pacer helped the West Indian side restrict Super Kings by capturing the key wickets of Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina and then opened the innings to score 63 off 41 balls. His innings was studded with five fours and four huge sixes.
Simmons’s best came in the 10th over when he faced Ravindra Jadeja. This over produced 19 runs as Simmons hit two sixes and one four. Equally impressive was Evin Lewis, who made 38 in 35 deliveries.
Chennai Super Kings’ batting was a huge disappointment for the near-capacity crowd at the Kotla. After Sachin Tendulkar flopped with the bat in the day’s first match, the crowd was hoping to watch some fireworks from Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men.
Chennai did start well, but completely lost their way as the innings progressed.
In the first 10 overs, the two-time IPL champions put on 72 runs with Vijay (27) and Raina (38) hitting the bowlers all around the park. In contrast, they could manage only 36 runs losing eight wickets in the next 9.4 overs.
The slow and low nature of the wicket was not entirely to be blamed for Super Kings’ batting debacle. True their key batsmen faltered at crucial times, but credit must be given to the Trinidad and Tobago bowlers, who bowled tightly to keep the batsmen under check and got wickets at regular intervals.