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    Cobras, T&T eye win in wide open Group A

    Chennai: The picture of which two teams from Group A will qualify for the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20 will more or less get clear after the two key encounters on Tuesday.

    In the first match of the day, Caribbean side Trinidad and Tobago will take on the South African outfit Cape Cobras while in the second game defending Champions Chennai Super Kings will be up against the Aussie side New South Wales Blues.

    Mumbai Indians are sitting pretty at the top of group A with five points in four matches. Next up are NSW Blues with four points, followed by Cobras with three.

    T&T, who are fresh after their victory against the CSK on Sunday, are at the fourth place with two points, while CSK, despite having the same points as the Caribbean side, are still at No. 5 courtesy their below-average performances in the two losses they suffered.

    If the Cobras, who have only one win against NSW Blues and a no result so far, win on Tuesday they will move to five points and may make their way into the semis by virtue of a better net run rate than Mumbai.

    NSW too will progress as group winners with six points if the Australian side wins their crucial match against CSK on Tuesday.

    However, a defeat to either Cobras or NSW, will ensure Mumbai's progression to the semifinal, while forming a three-way tie among NSW, CSK and T&T - all with four points each, meaning the calculation will come down to run rate.

    T&T, on the other hand, will have to beat Cobras and hope NSW lose to CSK to stand any chance of entering the semis. Any other result and they would be eliminated.

    As things stand, T&T have the second-best net run rate in the group at +0.183, while Cobras have the best net run rate at +0.443.

    In Tuesday's tie between T&T and Cobras, it will be crucial that how the South African side get used themselves to the slow and turning Chepauk track.

    T&T possess a spinner of the quality of Sunil Narine, who has been a revelation in the series, taking nine wickets at an economy rate of 4.30.

    He will be the go-to-man for T&T skipper Daren Ganga, along with Ravi Rampaul, who too has performed above expectations so far.

    The success of the Cobras will very well depend on how they tackle these two T&T bowlers.

    On the other hand, Cobras skipper Justin Kemp too will hope that the spin duo of Robin Peterson and JP Duminy extract the same bounce and turn as spinners of other teams have managed so far.

    Kemp will also want his ace pacer Dale Steyn to show his magic with his fiery fast bowling.

    It will be interesting to find whether T&T will continue their giant killing or Cobras will sting the Caribbean side and knock them out of the contest.


    Cape Cobras: Justin Kemp (capt), JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Richard Levi, Johann Louw, Justin Ontong, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Andrew Puttick, Michael Rippon, Owais Shah, Dale Steyn, Dane Vilas.

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

    (With agency inputs)