CLT20: Mumbai v/s Trinidad in a battle of near equals
New Delhi: Two aggressive and in-form sides will clash in a battle of equals when Mumbai Indians face off against West Indian outfit Trinidad and Tobago in the second semifinal of the Champions League Twenty20, here on Saturday.
It would be a contest on even keel as both the teams are coming off big wins. While Mumbai thrashed Perth Scorchers by six wickets, T&T annihilated two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets in their respective last league encounters.
Both the teams fought their way to the semifinal after being left with no other option but to win their final group matches and they did it in style on October 2 at the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium.
2011 champions Mumbai and T&T seem evenly-matched on paper as both the teams boast of big match-winners in Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul and Darren Bravo.
There is no doubt that the star-studded Mumbai side would do everything in their power to reach the final of the Champions League and give a fitting farewell to their iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar by lifting the trophy for the second time.
Tendulkar is playing his last Champions League tournament after announcing his retirement from the Indian Premier League this year.
Even though the Mumbai outfit did not get off to an ideal start as they suffered a defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals in the opening match before their second tie was washed out, they came back strongly to stamp their authority against the Lions and Scorchers in Group `A`.
Mumbai would look for nothing less than a repeat of their dominating show against the Scorchers where both their batsmen and bowlers fired in unison.
The bowlers, despite the absence of match-winning pacer Lasith Malinga, did well with pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pragyan Ojha and Glen Maxwell successfully putting breaks on the opponents` scoring besides chipping in with important wickets.
While chasing, the batsmen did their job to perfection with opener Dwayne Smith blasting a 25-ball 48, and skipper Rohit Sharma playing an unbeaten match-winning knock of 51 towards the end.
The worrying part though is the form of Tendulkar, who is yet to cast his magic spell with the bat.
Sharma had, in his post-match press conference recently, said he would expect the batting great to play a match-winning knock in the semifinal and the team would be hoping for him to shine tomorrow.
The likes of Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and Pollard would also look to show their true potential in the tournament.
Mumbai, who are the favourites, have to guard against complacency when they take the field here at Kotla one more time.