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The Preview by Siddhartha Talya
September 27, 2011
Match factsNew South Wales v Trinidad & Tobago, September 28
These two teams have a history. They met twice in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20, splitting two exciting games. Kieron Pollard first announced himself with an unbeaten, blistering 54 off 18 balls in Hyderabad that won Trinidad and Tobago the match and him a bumper IPL contract with Mumbai Indians. In the other game, the final, Brett Lee played a decisive cameo, grabbed two wickets and caught Pollard, who had begun to look threatening, in the deep to seal the title for New South Wales. Both those matchwinners, however, will be absent from tomorrow's encounter due to their commitments with their IPL franchises but in a tournament that has provided much entertainment thus far, we can expect the teams to deliver another close one.
T&T, despite the absence of Pollard, have won plenty of respect. They've earned their place in the main leg by coming through the qualifiers and gave the high profile Mumbai Indians a serious scare. In a chase where fortunes fluctuated wildly, Mumbai just about held their nerve in the final over to win off the final ball, but T&T had no business keeping the game so close after being bowled out for 98. While they bowled determinedly, their batsmen didn't press on after getting starts. Likewise with NSW, who were soundly beaten by Cape Cobras in their first game. Nor could NSW's bowlers make much of a fight in the wake of an onslaught from the Cobras openers. With little margin for a slip-up, the team will aim for a quick climb from the bottom of the points table.
Watch out for …Daren Ganga is a man of strong words and an impressive captain. In fact, Ian Chappell thought he should lead West Indies after the way they performed in this tournament's inaugural edition. But, of late, Ganga's own form with the bat has been poor. He had a good first-class season in the Caribbean but in his last six Twenty20 innings he has scores of 0, 7, 1, 17 and 5.
Steven Smith is a player of immense value in the shorter versions, especially Twenty20, with his all-round ability. He was left out of Australia's Test series in Sri Lanka which would have been a setback, given his spirited batting, outstanding fielding and leg-spin are known to have the makings of a regular in the national side.
Team newsT&T underperformed big time with the bat, several of their players had an off day but it was an especially bad one for Denesh Ramdin. The former West Indies vice-captain is back in the national reckoning - he's been picked for the Bangladesh tour and is a senior member of the T&T side - but will feel a bit of pressure after his duck and that missed run-out in the previous game. William Perkins is an attacking opener and a wicketkeeping option. T&T may not make any changes but their batsmen need to recover, and quickly.
NSW went in with three spinners in their previous game, though Steve O'Keefe didn't do much. If at all, they might make a change in their attack depending on the conditions.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"We have capable batsmen who can come up tomorrow and mean business. We are coming up against a different attack on a different surface. Hopefully when the opportunity presents itself, our batters can come up trumps."
The controversy surrounding the IPL has done little to deter fans in UAE from flocking the stadiums, as they gear up to watch the Indian stars in action for the first time since 2006
Plays of the day from the IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi
Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and defeat
The former Indian openers haven't been shining lately, but the IPL presents an opportunity for them to show their class
Having the top Associate team play the lowest-ranked Test side without the threat of relegation shows how votes mean more to the ICC than results
They were making good progress in building a world-class side, but not getting rid of Kevin Pietersen after the texting saga in 2012 cost them greatly
Brian Lara's 375 had a sense of inevitability to it, while the 400 came amid a backdrop of strikes and the threat of a whitewash
If they are to live up to their potential in next year's World Cup at home, they need to look within and search for inspiration pronto