CLT20 : Trinidad and Tobago vs Ruhuna Rhinos - Live Cricket Score

Preview by Gokul Gopal

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Hyderabad, Sep 19: It is the battle of the island sides when Trinidad and Tobago take on the Ruhana Rhinos of Sri Lanka in the opening game of the Champions League T20 qualifiers. The match will be a hard-fought affair between both sides as a single loss would hamper their chances of booking a berth for the main event starting from the 23rd of September.

Road to the Qualifiers:

Trinidad and Tobago: The finalists of the inaugural Champions League made it to the qualifying stage of the third edition of tournament by defeating Caribbean team Hampshire by 36 runs in the finals of the Caribbean T20. Batting first, T & T put up a total of 147/7 thanks to good knocks from Darren Bravo (41), Lendl Simmons (31) and Denesh Ramdin (33) and then restricted their opponents to 111/8. Kevon Cooper and Jason Mohammed did well with the ball, picking up two wickets each.

Ruhuna Rhinos: The Sri Lankan T20 team, led by Mahela Udawatte, were part of the Champions League for the first time after prevailing over Wayamba in a thrilling encounter. The outcome of the game was decided with an one over eliminator after both sides ended up with the same total of 198. Skipper Udawatte scored a fine 65 off 47 balls while allrounder Janaka Gunaratne blazed his way to 83 off just 42 balls. Wayamba scored only 6 runs in the Eliminator which the Rhinos chased down easily.

Key Players:

Trinidad and Tobago: Although they do not have the services of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, The Caribbean side has a quality line-up with a host of players with international experience. Adrian Barath and Lendl Simmons open the batting for T & T followed by the talented Darren Bravo at number 3. The team also has the likes of Daren Ganga and Denesh Ramdin, who lend stability to the middle order. When it comes to bowling, Ravi Rampaul is the leader of an attack which mainly consists of spinners like Dave Mohammed, Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine.

Ruhuna Rhinos: Though the Sri Lankan side does not have as many international players as Trinidad, there is no dearth of quality batsmen in the squad. Skipper Mahela Udawatte and hard-hitting batsmen such as Tillakaratne Sampath and Janaka Gunaratne add strength to the batting and so does Dinesh Chandimal, who will also be a key player for the Ruhuna Rhinos. Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya is also in the squad but he has hardly played any competitive cricket for some time now. In the bowling department, the team would miss the services of Suraj Randiv, who was the highest wicket-taker in the Domestic T20 tournament. While Randiv's absence would be felt as the off-spinner has opted to play for Chennai Super Kings, the Rhinos, if they qualify, have Chanaka Welegedara whose left-arm swing would be handy for both taking wickets and restricting runs. However, Welegedara as well as Shaminda Eranga would only be available after the qualifiers as they are currently playing in the 3rd Test against Australia.

Watch out for:

Darren Bravo: A talented youngster who has modelled his batting on Brian Lara, Darren Bravo is an important member of the Trinidad and Tobago squad. Although his international career has started as a roller-coaster journey, with some good knocks coupled with several failures, Bravo has an opportunity to make justice to his talent by playing a key role for the Trinidad side in the Champions League. The left-hander, who played impressively in the ODIs and a T20 match against India earlier this year, will be T & T's star attraction for the Indian crowd during the CL.

Dinesh Chandimal: In the short time that he has spent with the Sri Lankan team, Dinesh Chandimal has shown immense potential and has grabbed the attention of the cricketing world. Chandimal, a hard-hitting wicket keeper batsman, was the highest run-scorer in the Provincial Twenty20 Tournament which concluded in July this year. He scored 203 runs at an impressive average of 50.75, including 2 half-centuries. Chandimal has proved his capabilities at the international arena and his contributions would be vital for the Rhinos if they are to get through the qualifying stage of the CL.

Final word:

Trinidad and Tobago are clearly the favourites to win this match and the Caribbean side are also potentially one of the tree teams who would qualify for the Champions League. However, they cannot take the Ruhuna Rhinos lightly as the Sri Lankan T20 side has able players who can put up a brave performance and also upset the chances of other teams.


Trinidad and Tobago (From): Daren Ganga(c), Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, William Perkins, Denesh Ramdin(w), Ravi Rampaul, Samuel Badree, Jason Mohammed, Dave Mohammed, Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Shannon Gabriel, Kevon Cooper

Ruhuna Rhinos (From): Mahela Udawatte(c), Alankara Asanka Silva, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Yashodha Lanka, Shihan Kamileen, Arosh Janoda, Dinesh Chandimal(w), Omesh Wijesiriwardene, Milinda Siriwardana, TM Sampath, Chinthaka Perera, Shalika Karunanayake, Sanath Jayasuriya, Janaka Gunaratne, Amal Athulathmudali

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