Half-centuries from Evin Lewis and Darren Bravo kept Trinidad and Tobago in the hunt for a Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) semifinal berth as they defeated Titans by six runs via the Duckworth/Lewis method after rain curtailed their Group B match in Ahmedabad, India yesterday.
Lewis slammed 70 off 35 balls with five sixes and seven fours while Bravo smacked 63 off 44 with four sixes and five fours to lead T&T to an imposing 188 for six after they were sent in to bat.
The Titans started their chase positively with skipper Henry Davids hitting a 22-ball 44 but T&T clawed their way back with Lendl Simmons and Sunil Narine grabbing two wickets each as they slipped from 79 for two in the tenth over to 137 for six in the 16th.
They were 153 for six, six runs behind the Duckworth/Lewis par score of 159 when rain stopped play after 17 overs.
After the victory, T&T manager Omar Khan praised the bowlers for sticking to the task when they were put to the sword by the Titans openers.
“I thought it was a tough wicket to bowl on and the guys adapted really well and stuck to their task and in the end they did what was necessary,” Khan told the Express, yesterday.
“Of course we knew the Titans were a strong batting team and we had to bowl well to restrict them. The bowlers did very well to come back after the Titans got off to a good start. Again Sunil Narine played an important role and Simmons contributed with the ball as well,” Khan added.
Narine (two for 23) grabbed two wickets in his final over right before the rain came, and that was exactly what T&T needed to stay ahead of the Titans.
Before that, Simmons (two for 18), bowling medium pace, grabbed two wickets in two balls with the score on 88 to peg the Titans back following a 65-run opening partnership between Davids and Jacques Rudolph (31).
Earlier, Lewis and Bravo put on 109 for the second wicket after T&T lost Simmons for a duck in the second over.
Bravo was brutal on Marchant de Lange, hitting the pacer for three fours in the third over, before depositing left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe over the ropes for three sixes in the 15th over to bring up his half century in style.
Khan said the way the two T&T left-handers batted gave the team a lot of confidence heading into their final group match against Chennai Super Kings, tomorrow.
“Young Evin Lewis and Darren Bravo set the stage with a wonderful innings and that does a lot for the confidence of the team. We face Chennai on Wednesday and a lot has been said about the net run rate equation, but at the end of the day we are going there to win the game. Our aim is always to win, and once we win against Chennai we will confirm our place in the semis.”
Yesterday’s victory means that T&T are now second in the group with eight points and a better net run rate than the Titans, who are also on eight points.
T&T still have one game to play, against group leaders Chennai, who have already qualified for the semifinals.
The other Group B match yesterday, between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Brisbane Heat, was abandoned because of the rain, meaning that the Sunrisers are now out of the competition.
Action in the CLT20 continues today with Kevon Cooper’s Rajasthan Royals taking on Otago Volts in Group A, in Jaipur, from 10.30 a.m. (TT Time).
The final group matches take place tomorrow, while the semifinals will be played on Friday and Saturday. The final is scheduled for Sunday.