Cobras aim to seal semi-final spot
Cape Cobras v Trinidad & Tobago, October 4, Chennai
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)
After the last-ball and one-wicket loss to Mumbai Indians, and the Super Over defeat to New South Wales, one wondered what Trinidad & Tobago would come up with next. Along with MI, T&T did their best to infuse excitement into a tournament that has struggled to pull in crowds. They finally managed to get it right against Chennai Super Kings to give themselves an outside chance of making the semi-finals. T&T have one last opportunity, against Cape Cobras, to add more thrills to the Champions League. It is a must-win game for both sides.
While T&T's spinners will look to use the slowness of the Chennai pitch to their advantage, they would have also noted that the Cobras batsmen struggled more against the Super Kings' seamers in their only loss so far.
A win tomorrow will put Cobras at the top of Group A and ensure their qualification for the semi-finals. Victory alone will not be enough for T&T, though, as they will need the Super Kings to beat New South Wales to force a three-way tie for the second place.
Watch out for …
Unlike the T&T spinners, there is nothing mysterious about medium-pacer Kevon Cooper but he has gone for just over five runs an over in the tournament. Even fellow Trinidadian Dwayne Bravo could not go after him in the death. Cooper's 28 at a strike-rate of 280 was the difference against the Super Kings. T&T's next best strike-rate was 121. Cobras will have to be wary on both fronts.
You either get Herschelle Gibbs early or else he gets you. New South Wales didn't, and suffered. Super Kings did, and got a target that could be chased. Gibbs will go after all the sliders, wrong 'uns and flicked legbreaks that the T&T spinners try against him. Who will get whom?
Barring last-minute injuries, neither side has reason to change their XIs.
Stats and trivia
- Not surprisingly, slow and low Chennai is where batsmen have struggled the most. It has the lowest average per wicket, 21.22, and the lowest economy-rate, 6.80, of the three venues used in the tournament
- T&T's loss to MI was only the 11th instance of a Twenty20 being decided by the smallest margin of one wicket off the last ball.
"There is still a remote chance of us qualifying. God only knows what will happen in the last game but we still hold faith that we will qualify for the semi-finals."
Daren Ganga knows a win tomorrow might not be enough for T&T
"We are playing T&T at the end, so their spinners are not complete unknowns to us. We have done a little bit of work on how to face them."
Dane Vilas says the T&T spinners are not a mystery for Cobras
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo