Super Simmons stars for T&T

Super Simmons stars for T&T

Trinidad and Tobago rained on Chennai Super Kings’s parade with a commanding eight-wicket victory to waltz into the semifinals of Champions League Twenty20 with flair at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Wednesday.

The Caribbean side needed a win or had to keep the margin of loss within five runs to pip the Titans for a place in the last four. They executed it to perfection, in presence of legendary Brian Lara, by first restricting the Super Kings to 118 in 19.4 overs and then handing the two-time IPL champions their first loss in the tournament by pursuing the target with 29 balls remaining.

With the victory, they also replaced Super Kings at the top of Group A. As a result, T&T will now play Mumbai Indians here on Saturday while Super Kings will fly to Jaipur to take on Rajathan Royals for the first semifinals.

The superb 79-run opening stand between Lendl Simmons (63, 41b, 4x5, 4x6) and Evin Lewis (38, 35b, 4x6) laid the basis of T&T chase. Lewis  thwacked Albie Morkel for three boundaries in the fourth over before meting out a similar treatment to a jaded  Ravindra Jadeja, dispatching him through the cover for two consecutive boundaries in his first over. Simmons further spoiled Jadeja’s return in 10th over with couple of lusty hits over mid-wicket and long on and followed it with another four.

It was then Suresh Raina, who broke the opening stand, by trapping Lewis leg before but Simmons continued undeterred. R Ashwin sent him back when T&T needed three runs to victory, leaving Dwayne Bravo to finish the formalities.

Earlier, it was a below-par performance by the Super Kings. Ravi Rampaul set the ball rolling by sending the off stump of in-form Michael Hussey cartwheeling in his very first over. Raina (29b, 3x4, 1x6) and Murali Vijay provided brief reprieve but Simmons ended their  55-run stand by bowling Vijay, an inside edge rocking his off-stump. It sparked a collapse with Super Kings losing their top five wickets, under the score of 100.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni tried accelerate the innings but ended up mistiming Rayad Emrits to a running Simmons at the long on, leaving Super Kings struggling at 102 for six. The Super Kings’s lower order too put up a clumsy show, paving way for a T&T victory.

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