Champions League T20: Trinidad through to main draw, Auckland out
The second day of the Champions League T20 2011 qualifiers saw the fate of two teams decided. While Trinidad and Tobago stormed into the main draw of the CLT20 for the second time, the Auckland Aces crashed out of the tournament with a second loss in a row.
Trinidad and Tobago had had an excellent first edition of the CLT20 when they reached the final of that tournament in 2009. This time around, they had to go through the qualifiers route to get to the main draw but managed it with ease. On the second day, they followed up their win over the Sri Lankan side of Ruhuna, with a victory over Leicestershire. And it was the biggest win of the four games that have been played on a slow-paced track at Hyderabad.
Batting first, the opening pair of Lendl Simmons and Adrian Barath did an awesome job for their side, as they added 139 for the first wicket in 17 overs to put them on to the path of a match-winning total. At Hyderabad, apart from this innings where the Trinidad and Tobago side got to 168 in this end, no other team has touched even 140 – a clear-cut case of the Caribbean side being a much better one than the rest.
Of course, one would have expected the Leicestershire Foxes to give a better fight in their chase of 169, especially because they would know that the second-placed side in each of the groups does have a chance of making it through to the next stage. Unfortunately, they were undone by the West Indian spinners, who asphyxiated the Foxes batsmen into throwing away their wickets in front of the mounting asking rate.
Samuel Badree took two wickets but conceded only seven runs in his four overs, while Sunil Narine had figures of two for 18 in his four. Ravi Rampaul bagged four wickets to ensure that Leicestershire managed only 117.
In the other qualifier for the day, Auckland were sent packing out of the tournament when they crashed to their second successive loss in the tournament. After having fallen short of the target by two runs against Kolkata, the Aces failed to defend 126 against Somerset, who scored the winning runs off the last ball of the game.
The Aces were in with a chance when they had reduced the Somerset side to 64 for five, but James Hildreth and new wicket-keeper Steve Snell brought the side home.
Ruhuna play Leicestershire while Kolkata take on Somerset in the last games of the CLT20 qualifiers.
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