New Delhi: Trinidad & Tobago put up a thorough professional perfomance as they outplayed a formidable Chennai Super Kings by nine wickets to clinch a semi-final berth in the Champions League T20.
T&T outbatted, outbowled and outfielded Mahendra Singh Dhoni's outfit as they chased down a paltry target of 119 in only 15.1 overs to pip CSK to the top position in group by virtue of better net run-rate.
T&T needed to win the match in 17.4 overs but they achieved the feat 2.3 overs in advance to enjoy a far better net run-rate of Ʈ.816 than CSK's Ʈ.271.
T&T will thus meet Mubai Indians in the second semi-final on Saturday while CSK will travel to Jaipur where they will meet Rajasthan Royals, who have remained unbeaten at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, in the first semi-final on Friday.
Lendl Simmons played a pivotal role in his team's fantastic showing as he took crucial wickets of Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina for only 10 runs and then smashed his way to 63 off 41 balls with five boundaries and four sixes.
For T&T, medium pacer Rayad Emrit (3 for 21) was the most successful bowler while Ravi Rampaul claimed two wickets besides Simmons. Mystery spinner Sunil Narine (12 in 4 overs) kept a tight leash on the CSK but went without a wicket.
It was a match where CSK performed well below par and much of the blame should be taken by their batsmen who failed to notch up a decent enough total. With seven players failing to reach double digits and poor running between the wickets leading to three run-out was like insult to injury.
118 in 19.4 overs was never going to be enough on a slow Kotla track and Simmons and Evin Lewis (38) added 79 runs for the opening stand to shut out any chances that CSK would have had to come back in the match.
While Ravichandran Ashwin (1/24) was economical and Suresh Raina (1/16) did his bit to contain the T&T batsmen, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was taken to the cleaners by Simmons who scored the bulk of the 30 runs the Saurashtra all-rounder gave away in two overs.