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This year's Champions League has been the finest so far by a country mile. The glamorous tournament captivated cricket fanatics with nail-biting finishes. Lightning struck twice, first in the form of Mumbai and then Bangalore to set up an all IPL grand finale. Eventually, the rag-tag, resilient Mumbai Indians prevailed on the night of nerves to be crowned the Champion of Champions. Here's a look at our CLT20 All Star Eleven.
Best XI: Chris Gayle, David Warner, Virat Kohli, James Franklin, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Dwayne Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Harbhajan Singh (captain), Lasith Malinga, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul.
Chris Gayle(RCB): The Man of the tournament of IPL 2011, continued his rich vein of form to run amok in the CLT20. The Jamaican's blitzkriegs were instrumental in RCB making it to the final. Gayle's 92 off 41 balls in the first semi--final was the spectacle of the tournament although the big man floundered in the final. A whooping 24 maximums catapulted him to first in the list of leading six-hitters.
David Warner(NSW): Gayle's associate in the Australian Big Bash tournament, David 'Dynamite' Warner exploded at the big stage to aid NSW to reach the semis. In scoring back to back T20 centuries the southpaw achieved something that was regarded as nearly impossible. He amassed 328 runs, the most in the tournament at a staggering strike rate of 172.
Virat Kohli(RCB): Kohli, was not just about power but also about sheer elegance. He has grown leaps and bounds to become RCB's batting mainstay. His 70 off 36 man of the match performance saw RCB romp home against the Redbacks in a crunch game. The youngster, whose electrifying fielding also proved to be a bonus ended up as the third highest run-getter with 232 runs.
James Franklin(MI): Franklin's devilish double strike versus Somerset to consume in-form Kieswetter and Butler tilted the scales in Mumbai's favour in an epic contest wherein the Sabres controlled 80% of the game. The Kiwi all-rounder, who was also the biggest contributor in the final with an impressive 41 signed off on a high with 3 wickets and 107 runs. Franklin's ability to deliver under pressure makes him a cinch in our all star squad.
Craig Kieswetter(SOM, Keeper): Kieswetter, who joined up with the Somerset squad after answering the call of the nation brought about freshness to the Sabres' unit. Measured aggression and a cool head pushed him to manufacture 144 runs including 2 wily half centuries amidst mounting pressure. The matured English international was also as safe as a bank behind the stumps.
Dwayne Bravo(CSK): Bravo was the only thing to cheer about for the Super Kings in an otherwise ordinary campaign. The high on octane West Indian took Chennai past the finish line against the venomless Cobras by means of an undefeated 46 and 2-23 with the ball. He vindicated his utility with 5 wickets and 94 runs with a strike rate over 160.
Kevon Cooper(T&T): Cooper's explosive twin cameos kept T&T's hopes alive until the Blues crashed their calypso party in the final leg of the Group stage. An intimidating strike of 191 bears testimony to the man's brute strength.
Harbhajan Singh(MI,Captain) : Bhajji marshalled his bruised troops superbly to clinch the CLT20 in the absence of their icon Sachin Tendulkar. His tactical masterstrokes of tossing the 19 over of the semis to Franklin and offering Malinga an elongated first spell were commendable. The lion-hearted tweaker's 3-20 on the big pay day painted Chennai blue.
Lasith Malinga(MI): The Man of the Tournament of the CLT20 delivered both with the ball and bat consistently to steer MI out of choppy waters. The Lankan, who designed the injury hit outfit's first win with an unlikely 37 against Chennai picked up an overall 10 wickets to earn the honour of being the top wicket taker. Slinga Malinga's fast and furious toe crushers and well-disguised slower ones left the batsmen clueless.
Sunil Narine(T&T): Sunil Narine boasted of the best economy rate in the 20 day sojourn-4.37. The find of the tournament made a mockery of the batsmen and smothered the opposition with his effective right arm off-breaks.
Ravi Rampaul (T&T): Ravi Rampaul was one of the very few pacers who decoded the Chennai wicket. The mean and miserly bowling machine raked up 12 victims at an economy rate of under 7 in the 6 games he played. The 26 year old speed merchant's spell of 4-14 against Leicestershire in the qualifiers was indeed a treat to watch.
Chervolet Warriors's most valuable player, Jon-JonSmuts, who churned out 184 runs at an average of 46, and Abu Nechim, who has been a revelation for the Mumbai Indians with 8 wickets in the T20 carnival narrowly missed the cut. Also coming close were another couple of South Africans Jacques Kallis and Alfonso Thomas.
- 09/10/2012 13:48 - Dwayne Bravo and Anirudh Srikkanth ruled out of Champions League Twenty20
- 03/10/2012 18:27 - Debabrata Das to replace Laxmi Ratan Shukla in KKR Squad
- 27/07/2012 11:53 - Kolkata and Delhi in Group A, Chennai and Mumbai in Group B of Champions League T20