T and T beat Cobras in a thriller (Lead)

October 4th, 2011 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 4 (IANS) Kevon Cooper’s late blitz propelled Trinidad and Tobago to a three-wicket win against the Nashua Cape Cobras who thus got knocked out of the Champions League T20 tournament here Tuesday.

After restricting Cobras to 137 for four, Trinidad and Tobago (T and T) recovered from a seemingly hopeless position as Man of the Match Cooper slammed a match-winning 25 not out off just 11 balls to take his team to 138 for eight in 19.4 overs.

The turning point came when Dale Steyn, bowling the 19th over, conceded 15 runs with Cooper slamming him for a six and more importantly, remained there to finish the game in style to set off celebrations in the Caribbean dug-out.

The result ensured Mumbai Indians (5 points) a semi-final berth while it eliminated Cobras from semi-final contention as they remained on three points after suffering their second defeat in four games.

T and T moved to four points, but will have to await the result of the next game between New South Wales Blues (4) and Chennai Super Kings (2).

The Caribbean champions never got their chase on track after losing early wickets and with the Cobras bowlers keeping it tight backed by some athletic fielding, the writing was on the wall for T and T.

Steyn worked up good pace at the start and trapped Lendl Simmons in front and a little later, Rory Kleinveldt foxed Williams Perkins with clever change of pace to have the opener caught in the deep.

A 35-run partnership for the third wicket between Daren Bravo and Adrian Barath gave some hope for Trinidad until Kemp broke through with two wickets off consecutive deliveries.

Barath and next man Darren Ganga were clean bowled as the Cobras seemed to take a grip on the game. Kemp then removed Bravo with a superb return catch as the ball was smashed back over the bowler’s head and T and T were tottering at 82 for five in the 15th over.

Kemp thus completed a brilliant spell of four overs that cost him just 22 runs while he took three wickets that broke the back of T and T’s challenge.

T and T slid deeper into trouble as they lost two quick wickets of Sherwin Ganga and Denesh Ramdin, making it 105 for seven.

These dismissals brought Cooper and Ravi Rampaul together with T and T needing 33 more runs. However, the pair went on a rampage, taking 15 runs off the 19th over bowled by Steyn and the Caribbean side needed just nine off the 20th over.

In the final over, Langeveldt had Rampaul caught in the deep off the first ball, but Cooper smashed a boundary off the next, after having crossed over. Langeveldt then erred in bowling a no-ball before Cooper wrapped up the match with a long hit for two runs.

Earlier, a poor start all but derailed the Cobras as openers Richard Levi and Herschelle Gibbs, their batting mainstays, departed without making an impact.

It was then left to Shah and Vilas to repair the innings and the pair put on 87 runs for the third wicket by the 15th over to set up things nicely for a final acceleration at the death.

The duo batted with some assurance and although the slow pitch made stroke-making difficult, both Shah and Vilas bided their time while rotating the strike with nudges and pushes to keep the score moving along at a fair clip.

At 97 for three at the start of the 15th over, the Cobras would have been eyeing a total closer to 150 with two settled batsmen at the crease.

But that never happened as T and T fought back brilliantly to not only break the partnership but also put the brakes on the scoring as the last four overs went for just 26 runs as the Cobras were unable to break free.

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