Mumbai Indians v T&T, 2nd semi-final, CLT20, Delhi October 4, 2013

T&T look to gatecrash IPL teams' party

The Preview by Rohan Sharma

Match facts

Saturday, October 5, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

After making the inaugural Champions League T20 final against New South Wales in 2009, Trinidad & Tobago have not reached the tournament's knockouts again. In this edition, the group stage got better and better for them. After a four-wicket loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad in their second match, they held on - helped by a late shower - in a must-win game against Titans, before shocking tournament favourites Chennai Super Kings in their final game. Their eight-wicket win against Super Kings was so comprehensive, they catapulted them into top place in Group B.

T&T's strength remains their bowling, specifically mystery spinner Sunil Narine who was the highest wicket-taker at the end of the group stage with eight scalps. While they've had the occasional sparkle from their batsmen - like Evin Lewis' quickfire 70 against Titans - it is primarily Narine, with some help from seamers Ravi Rampaul and Rayad Emrit, who has brought the team so far. Still, T&T, the only non-IPL team left in the tournament, are the underdogs in their semi-final encounter, as they face a star-laden Mumbai Indians line-up.

Mumbai's progression to the semi-finals was far trickier. A humbling seven-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals followed by a washout against Otago meant they faced an uphill task to go through. Upon securing a much-needed victory against Lions, they showed just what their power-packed batting is capable off, mowing down 150 in 13.2 overs (they needed to do so in 14.2) against Perth Scorchers to bump their net run rate over Otago and qualify.

They are the reigning IPL champions and, as their captain Rohit Sharma said after the win against Scorchers, seem to be peaking at the right time. Should T&T complete another giant killing, though, there'll be a footnote to the game: Mumbai's last game in this tournament is likely to be Sachin Tendulkar's last in limited-overs cricket. Also, Tendulkar is 26 runs short of 50,000 runs in all recognised cricket.

In the spotlight

Without a doubt, the performance of Sunil Narine can prove to be the breaking point for either team. His eight wickets have been worth their weight in gold - add to that his economy rate of 4.31 and his ability to strike at key moments of the game, and you know you've got a match-winner on your hands. Also, he has a good record against Mumbai - in five innings against them, he has taken 9 wickets, with an economy of 5.16.

Harbhajan Singh will be feeling the pressure, after claiming a solitary wicket for 72 runs in the competition so far. His Champions League record, overall, is average, with 13 wickets in 15 matches at an unflattering economy of 7.06. However, in his only other match against T&T, in the 2011 edition, he produced one of his best T20 spells with 3 for 22. He will hope to repeat - or better - come Saturday.


"Ramdin's men know my game well but I know theirs too, so it's going to be interesting this Saturday."
Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard on going up against his T&T team-mates

"Yes, we miss Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Kevon Cooper, but we're used to it now as it's been happening to us for years. The other guys are stepping up to the plate and that's good news for us."
David Williams, Trindad & Tobago coach

Rohan Sharma is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on October 5, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    Overseas players have flopped badly for IPL teams this year. Have to laugh at people who say IPL needs foreign players. Michael Hussey played a couple of good innings for CSK but was overshadowed by Raina. Praveen Tambe has been the star of the show for RR and not the foreign players. MI's imports haven't set the world on fire either. IPL owners have to be careful not to overbid for overrated foreign players next season. Will help India's foreign exchange as well. LOL

  • rajib_bd on October 5, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    Narine will shows his ability against MI. Let's see the drama.

  • dummy4fb on October 5, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    If T&T wins this tournament they should drop Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Kevon Cooper from T&T team.

  • dummy4fb on October 5, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    the format isn't right. IPL teams will always have the upper hand with their teams packed with international players. The format has to change by excluding the 4 IPL teams and adding the Indian domestic team. What a joke this tournament has been. Shame!!!!

  • KingOwl on October 5, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Without Malinga, I think Mumbai are very significantly weakened. Let's see whether they can still do it.

  • dummy4fb on October 5, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    too bad the more matches T&T wins the more of our players get poached by international teams

  • dummy4fb on October 5, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    T & T will win this match and RR will bag the trophy. This will be the great tribute to the great legend Rahul Bhai's cricket history.

  • dummy4fb on October 5, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    best batsmen in mumbai --SMITH,POLLARD,ROHIT,...TT can counter them with twelve overs of NARINE,RAMPUAL and BADRI ... hence mark my words it would be a cake walk for T&T unless MUMBAI would spring a surprise in their bowling attack and their batting order

  • siddhartha87 on October 5, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    T& T will win this. Another legend from T & T will born today.

  • dummy4fb on October 5, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    If everything wouls have been fair in the semi final we would have seen Titans and Otago

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