On 20th September 2014, the PCA stadium of Mohali witnessed two of the most thrilling contests of the Champions League T20.
The ‘Kings XI Punjab’ thrashed the Caribbean champions ‘Barbados Tridents’ in a close encounter to become the top team in Group B. The Tridents were put to bat on a batting friendly Mohali pitch and went on to set a competitive target of 174 runs. They completed their 100 runs in the first 11 overs and the 200 mark was definitely on the cards. But they couldn’t capitalize on this fantastic start and lost wickets at regular intervals towards the end. At the end of the innings they were around 15-20 runs short which became the deciding factor of the match. The star performers for the Tridents were Dilshan Munaweera and Raymon Reifer, both scoring half centuries. There was nothing much for the bowlers out there, still Parvinder Awana from the Kings XI managed to pick up 3 wickets with an expensive economy of 11.50. This competitive target looked somewhat decent when Kings XI Punjab came to bat. The star-studded team chased it down in style with 2 balls to spare. Punjab’s deep batting lineup proved its worth yet again as they won with 4 wickets in hand. David Miller and Akshar Patel ended the match with some power packed shots in the critical situation. But the foundation of the chase was laid much before by Sehwag and Vohra, scoring 31 and 27 runs respectively.
The fun for the Mohali crowd started even earlier in the evening when the ‘Perth Scorchers’ won against the ‘Dolphins’ in a Group A match. Victory came from the bat of Mitchell Marsh who smashed the last 2 deliveries for sixes and became the hero for the Scorchers. Earlier in the match, Dolphins had a shaky start and lost 5 early wickets with a score of just 77 at the end of 11 overs. The much needed consolidation was provided by Khaya Zondo who played a brilliant knock of 63 runs. He was supported by Keshav Maharaj and Daryn Smit as Dolphins managed to achieve a decent score of 164 runs. The stand-out bowlers for the Scorchers were Joel Paris and Jason Behrendorff who picked up 2 and 3 wickets respectively. In response to this, the Scorchers played sensibly and took the match to the very end where Marsh showed his magic. Craig Simmons and Sam Whiteman played decent knocks in the middle and kept their side in the game. At the end, the Scorchers managed to win their first game in CLT20.
It was a fascinating day for the Champions League T20 and many more are expected to follow.