T&T make dream start to Champions League T20

BANGALORE, India,  CMC – Caribbean champions Trinidad and Tobago made a dream start to the Champions League Twenty20 yesterday when they used a clinical all-round performance to crush Somerset by 44 runs.

Electing to bat first, T&T gathered a sturdy 150 for nine off their 20 overs and then bowled out the English county for 106 in the Group A fixture at Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“We went out there, we assessed conditions and we played how we wanted to play cricket,” winning captain Daren Ganga said.

The result vaulted T&T to the top of the group on net run-rate over Somerset, who had upset Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Deccan Chargers on Saturday.

Set 151 to win, Somerset were under pressure throughout after dipping to 28 for three after six overs.

The effervescent international all-rounder Dwayne Bravo claimed back-to-back wickets, dislodging Marcus Trescothick (3) and Craig Kieswetter (4) and spinner Sherwin Ganga sent back captain Justin Langer (15).

“It was a great team effort from everyone. Credit must be given to each and every player,” Bravo said.

South African Zander de Bruyn stroked an unbeaten 43 but he and Langer were the only batsmen avoiding the ignominy of single digit scores against a rampant T&T bowling attack.

“We are very disappointed, they (T&T) played brilliantly. In all aspects of the game they beat us tonight,” Langer said.

Bravo led the way with four for 23 off four overs in a clinical T&T bowling performance.

“We are now really looking forward to the second game,” Bravo added.

Man of the match Sherwin Ganga picked up two for 16 off three overs with his off-spin and left-arm spinner Dave Mohammed bagged two for 18 off four overs.

Earlier, T&T got a rousing start from their free-scoring opening batsman Lendl Simmons and William Perkins.

They rapidly posted 43 for the first wicket in just under five overs before Simmons fell for 22 and Perkins for 20, (with three fours and a six),  triggering a sudden slide as pacers Charl Willoughby and Ben Phillips and leg-spinner Max Waller made inroads.

Darren Bravo (9) smashed his first ball over long-off for six but gave a return catch to Willoughby two balls later at 59 for three.

His older brother Dwayne Bravo fell soon after without scoring at 60 for four in the seventh over and although captain Daren Ganga (23) and Denesh Ramdin (39) rallied with a 30-run fifth wicket stand, Somerset did well in the late overs to contain the Caribbean side.
Ramdin’s top score came at run-a-ball rate and included two boundaries.

Sherwin Ganga had a few lusty hits near the end to score 18 not out off eight balls with two fours and two sixes.

The South African Willoughby bagged three for 35 off four overs, and his new-ball partner Alfonso Thomas claimed a pair of late wickets to finish with two for 26, while Waller (2-27) and Phillips (1-43) picked up the other wickets.

T&T, joint top of the Group A table – on two points — with Somerset, will tackle Deccan Chargers tomorrow.

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