Chennai, Rajasthan clash in CLT20 semi-final
Chennai Super Kings will have the unenviable task today of trying to beat hosts Rajasthan Royals at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur if they are to reach the 2013 Champions League T20 final from 10.30 a.m. (TT time).
Rajasthan are the only unbeaten team in the tournament so far, and can be considered favourites, particularly as they have won ten matches on the trot at their home venue.
Add to that Chennai’s humbling eight-wicket win against Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday—the Super Kings suffered their worse-ever loss when they were dismissed for 118—which saw the Caribbean side leapfrog Chennai to top Group B after completing their chase in under 16 overs. T&T will face Mumbai Indians, who finished runners up to Rajasthan in Group A.
There will also be another mini-battle in the semis, with Trinidad and Tobago players in all the surviving teams. Today’s rivalry is that between Kevon Cooper, whose clever changes of pace have added to the effectiveness of Rajasthan’s bowling, against West Indies ODI captain Dwayne Bravo, a crucial, all-round component of the consistent Chennai.
Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming admitted that it was not his team’s preference to face Rajasthan at Jaipur.
“Ideally, we would have liked to keep our winning ways and stay here at one place,” Fleming said. “We would have loved to face Mumbai in the semi-finals but you can’t pick and choose and we are now heading to Rajasthan. They are a pretty formidable side at home and we need to be on top of our game.”
Whoever wins, the match today is expected to be full of excitement between two in-form teams.
CLT20 Semi-final fixtures:
Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings, Jaipur, 10.30 a.m.
Mumbai Indians vs Trinidad and Tobago, Delhi, 10.30 a.m.