20/20 champions league

Source: 20-20-cricket.com

I had mentioned in my CLT20 Preview that there are no real favorites in Twenty20 and deliberately not made any predictions or listed out any strong contenders and so on. And the first week of the tournament has vindicated my belief once more. Some of the strongest looking teams on paper have succumbed to lesser known unheralded ones. Let us have a brief summary of what has happened in CLT20 so far:

Group A

Group A has been the one which has seen results more on expected lines i.e stronger looking teams have won and are fighting for the 2 semi-final places. Chennai Super Kings have been the most impressive, winning both their matches comprehensively so far. 1 more win out of their remaining 2 matches and IPL 3 Champions would make the final 4. There is tough fight for the 2nd spot though between Warriors of South Africa and Victoria Bushrangers of Australia. While Warriors have also won 2 in 2, Victoria have lost 1 and won 1. But, it would be foolish to underestimate the Aussies.

The remaining 2 teams Central Stags of New Zealand and Wayamba of Sri Lanka are yet to win a match and would need a miracle to go through.

Group B

This has been the group with the most drama and most upsets. The South Australian Redbacks have been in scintillating form, winning all their 3 matches to be the first team to guarantee their place in semis. Michael Klinger (Redbacks Captain) has truly led from the front scoring 78, 50 and 69* in the 3 innings as opener and also winning 2 Man-of-the-Match awards in the process. On their way, Redbacks have beaten the 2 most fancied teams in the group in Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Mumbai Indians have been the biggest disappointment so far, going down to unknown Highveld Lions of South Africa followed by defeat at the hands of Redbacks, before registering the first win against Guyana. On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore have 1 win in 2 matches.

With Redbacks securing their place in semis, only 1 out of Mumbai and Bangalore have a chance to make the cut. The other 2 teams i.e Lions and Guyana will also try to make a surprising entry into last 4, in which case, both Mumbai and Bangalore would have to go home.

If I would have tried to pick the favorites at the beginning of the tournament based on strength and pedigree of players, then I would have invariably gone with Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai as 3 of the 4 teams for semis. Simply because the IPL teams have 4 star overseas players in their line-up, a luxury which other teams do not have. The 4th team would probably have been Victoria Bushrangers. But as things have panned out, Twenty20 Cricket has once again made it a very level playing field and sprung up many surprising results. This is just the nature of Twenty20 Cricket…

Which team would go on to lift the trophy come the 26th September?  Your guess is as good as mine…

Categories: General
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