The only unbeaten team of the inaugural Champions League maintained their 100% win record and stormed into the final to be played at the same venue today. Trinidad & Tobago defeated the Cape Cobras in the semi final to book a clash with New South Wales for the championship prize. Batting 1st on winning the toss, the Cobras posted a more-than-competitive 175/5 in their 20 overs. After a prolonged slump in form, Herschelle Gibbs was back amongst the runs in this important game. JP Duminy too continued to impress all with an attacking 61 that came off merely 40 balls as his team rattled up an impressive total on the board. But the men from the Caribbean could do nothing wrong in this tournament and any hopes of them ‘choking’ in this big match were gone with the way their opening partnership shaped up. In the end, the team lost only three wickets enroute to the target with Dwayne Bravo leading the way with an unbeaten quickfire half-century. >
Skipper Andrew Puttick alongwith Gibbs got the team off to a steady start with the latter doing the bulk of the scoring. Gibbs was especially severe on Dwayne Bravo and in JP Duminy he found an able ally who could score at a quick rate off his end as well. After Gibbs perished to a well made 42 off just 27 balls, it was left to the left hander Duminy to anchor the innings. Rory Kleinveldt made his own contribution with some lusty hits as the Cobras posted a score that they thought was par for the course. The only disappointment for them perhaps was that they could score only four runs in the final over, but 175 was still a very challenging score. Duminy top scored with his 61 coming 40 balls while for the T&T Lendl Simons was the most successful bowler with figures of 3-0-17-2. >
Any hopes of an upset win for the Cobras was promptly put to rest by Adrian Barath and William Perkins, the openers blasting their way to 50 within the 1st five overs of the innings before Perkins got out. One of the highlights of the T&T batting has been the manner in which their batsmen have gone about scoring their runs even if that were to come at the cost of regular fall of wickets. This trend continued in this game as well with the batsmen following Perkins keeping up the pressure on the Cobras’ bowlers. >
Monde Zondeki and Rory Kleinveldt were especially taken to the cleaners as the 4th wicket pair of skipper Daren Ganga and Dwayne Bravo got involved in an unbeaten and match winning partnership of 93 runs. Bravo who had an extremely forgettable outing with the ball conceding over 15 runs an over more than made up for it with his 58 from 34 balls; the knock contained four hits to the fence and three maximums and eventually earned him the ‘Man of the Match’ award.
The champions from the Caribbean will now face the champions from Australia in the final.