Champions League T20 2013 October 7, 2013

Age no bar to star in CLT20

The best performances in the Champions League came from teenagers, from established Indian stars, and from forty-somethings

MS Dhoni

63* off 19 v Sunrisers Hyderabad

The Dhoni rampage that included an over Thisara Perera will be desperately trying to forget. At the start, a typically brutal Dhoni hit over long-on was sandwiched by two wides. The over ended with four consecutive sixes - over square leg, over point, over long-on and over third man and ended up costing 34 runs. Perera will be ruing Ishant Sharma's misfield off the second legitimate ball of the over, which allowed Dhoni to hurry back for the second and regain the strike. Dhoni went on to his half-century in 16 balls, the quickest in the Champions League - and eighth fastest in all T20 - as Chennai Super Kings accelerated past 200 and out of Sunrisers' reach.

Sunil Narine

4 for 9 v Sunrisers Hyderabad

Narine is a dead cert to be a millionaire at next year's IPL auction. He's had two outstanding IPL seasons and his mystery hasn't faded in the CLT20 either. The success over the past two years means his reputation now precedes him, and teams are happy to play out his four overs and target the other bowlers. His teams turn to him at every crucial juncture. Defending 160 against Sunrisers, T&T brought him on in the 5th over to rein in a strong start and he delivered with a first-ball wicket. There was another in a two-over spell in the middle of the innings, before he signed off with wickets off his final two deliveries in the 18th over. The only runs he conceded were nine singles.

Sanju Samson

60 off 33 v Mumbai Indians

Once Mumbai ran up a total in excess of 200 in the final, most people thought the game was as good as over. Not 18-year-old Sanju Samson though. Walking in after the first wicket fell in the first over, a fearless array of strokes kept Royals in the chase as the asking-rate of 10 was matched for more than half the innings. It began with an effortless straight hit for six off Harbhajan Singh and he peppered the arc between long-on and midwicket as Royals reached 117 for 1 in the 12th over, but even with heavy-hitters like Shane Watson to follow, they couldn't complete the victory.

Harbhajan Singh

4 for 32 v Rajasthan Royals

Harbhajan Singh may no longer be among India's first-choice spinners but he reminded the selectors once more of his big-match temperament, in the final. After Samson's onslaught had helped Royals keep pace, Watson had begun with a monstrous hit for six. Harbhajan removed the dangerman though with a straighter one that Watson top-edged towards wide long-on. Then came the over that completely transformed the game: the well-set Ajinkya Rahane and two big hitters in Stuart Binny and Kevon Cooper were all packed off and for the second time in three years a single Harbhajan over had put the title within Mumbai's grasp.

Neil Broom

117* off 56 v Perth Scorchers

Before the match against Perth Scorchers, Broom's Twenty20 career stats were middling: 65 matches, average 21.23, strike-rate 112.08. So when Hamish Rutherford (career strike-rate 143.89) and star batsman Brendon McCullum were dismissed cheaply, Perth were a satisfied lot. No way could they have expected what came next. Broom played the T20 innings of his life with nine fours and eight sixes flowing as he ran up 117 off a mere 56 deliveries. Hard to pick a highlight from that smash-a-thon but the three successive sixes in the 19th over to bring up his century and reach the highest score over five seasons of the CLT20 will be up there. No wonder he has such a devoted fan club back home.

Pravin Tambe

3 for 10 v Chennai Super Kings

Pravin Tambe's rise provided one of the most heart-warming cricketing stories in recent years. For a retirement-age cricketer to get his chance to play alongside the all-time greats is a dream, leave alone ending up as the bowler of the tournament. With his skiddy legbreaks and accuracy, Tambe proved difficult for most batsmen. Thoughts that his bowling would fall apart under the pressure of a big match were brushed aside as he turned in 3 for 10 against the mighty Super Kings in the semi-final. It included the prized wicket of Suresh Raina and two other vial cogs, S Badrinath and Dwayne Bravo. He was Man of the Match as Royals pulled off a giant-killing act and marched into the final.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Syed on October 9, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Tambe, possible IPL or India National Team call up? He bowled brilliantly in all his matches!

  • Sukwinder on October 8, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    Although Dhoni's 63* off 19 or Broom/De Kock's 100s look better number wise, the innings of the tournament for me was Brad Hodge's 52* off 23 balls v Otago! Coming in when wickets were falling around and the run rate was rising every delivery; against a good bowling and a top notch fielding side, Hodge saw through the match with almost an over to spare in the end! Earlier it looked highly unlikely they would get there! Had Otago won this, Mumbai would not have made it to semis!

  • sam on October 8, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    Tambe can be tried in only t20 internationals, nothing more than that! I once remember people were saying once Ashwin failed in Australia why Rahul Sharma wasn't playing test matches for India in place of Ashwin? Some people think playing test cricket is same as playing T20! They didn't bother to have a look at Rahul Sharma's first class career where he averages more than 50 with the ball!

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    Harbajan does not list here it should have been A Rahane instead

  • Dinesh on October 8, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    @Thomas and @Syed, yes agree. And the guys like Tambe are who brings emotions and romance to this game. And, I also believe, he can be tried in T20 internationals, because this format of the game do not need any future player planning, it is played on current form and on form he deserve his chance.

  • Sudhi on October 8, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Why is Quinton De Kock's century not mentioned. His century should have been there instead if Harbhajan.

  • kanas on October 8, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    How can Harbhajan be here on the list, this belittle's the other star performances. Had harbhajan provided the break through i his first over, then credit to him, but thats not what it happened.

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2013, 2:44 GMT

    harbajan??? why??? i am surprised by inclusion of harbajan's figures.... come one guys, he just got wickets by bad shots played by batsmen ( i mean they slogged )..... i definately dint find any special in his bowling that day

  • Srinivas on October 7, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    Putting Harbhajan in this list is actually doing a dis-service to others. He got his four wickets, when RR had no choice but to go for it. I was laughing my back side off seeing his antics after taking a wicket, as it he planned the dismissal. He got lucky as the pressure was what did the RR batsmen. Please remove his name from this other-wise worthy mentions!!!!

  • Dummy4 on October 7, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    Tambe blowls a bit like Afridi but more accurately. His fast legbreaks that occasionally grip and turn buffled even the season Indians adept at plying spin. The googlies were also earned him respect during the slog time. I would presume that at his advanced age he should have stayed home to spend more time with grand kids. Instead he put many juvenile filders to shame with his throw from the boundary that almost got the batsman. I only wish India picks him for the next T20I they play. I bet Aussies will have not answer for him.

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