Mumbai face Trinidad test

Mumbai face Trinidad test

Both Mumbai Indians and Trinidad and Tobago have turned from the precipice to secure their places in the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.

Having scripted thrilling victories in their last league matches, the two teams have showed they have all the ingredients to make for an exciting tussle in their bid for a place in the final.

While a star-studded Mumbai fought back from the brink of elimination with their sensational batting against hapless Perth Scorchers, T&T ran through Chennai Super Kings in Caribbean flair and toppled the two-time IPL champions from the helm of Group A. Kotla proved to be the redemption ground for both and at the same venue on Saturday, the two would like to carry their victory march forward.

Mumbai, replete with talent, have an inspired leader in Rohit Sharma. The responsibility has enhanced his batsmanship and brought his talent to full bloom. The way he led from the front with an attacking 51 n.o. against Scorchers speaks of his newly acquired maturity, which has made him one of the most feared batsmen of the format.

Dwayne Smith, at the top of the batting order, can decimate the best of bowling attacks but needs support from his fellow opener Sachin Tendulkar, whose bat has been lying silent for some time. Brand Tendulkar, however, still fills the stands in a stadium as was evident on Wednesday. A much-awaited knock from him could make the day for many of his fans. Mumbai want to win the trophy for Tendulkar, for whom this will be the last outing in Twenty20 format, having already announced his retirement from the IPL earlier this year.

It will require a concerted effort, though. Dinesh Karthik and Glenn Maxwell need to raise their levels to lend stability to the middle order. Against Scorchers, Mumbai’s sloppy show in the outfield must have creased the forehead of fielding coaching Jonty Rhodes, while the bowlers, too, dished out an ordinary fare.

One would expect an improved performance from Mumbai in the semifinals, for T&T are no pushovers. They are one of the rare sides who enjoy the thrill of being in big matches and the odds that come with it. Their performance against Chennai Super Kings and the way they inflicted on them their worst defeat in the tournament bears testimony to that.

T&T have a capable allrounder in Lendl Simmons, who produced a match winning knock of 63 off 41 balls against Super Kings besides taking two wickets, and a young opener in Evin Lewis, whose growing consistency as an opener has given assured starts to visitors.

Their bowling has clicked as a unit with Ravi Rampaul and Simmons taking the challenge to the oppositions.

Medium pacer Rayad Emrit emerged their best wicket–taker against Super Kings with spinner Sunil Narine a proven asset.

Mumbai, with some of the finest cricketers their ranks, will have to be on their toes against T&T. For the matches like these are sometimes decided more by pluck than sheer talent.

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