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Late Ashwin heroics not enough to deny Dravid's Royals

The Rajasthan Royals completed a perfect home season, 13-0, to book their spot in the Final of the 2013 Champions League with a tense 14 run win over the Chennai Super Kings at Fortress Jaipur on Friday night. Ajinkya Rahane shone with the bat for the home team as his innings of 70 laid the foundation for Rajasthan to post 159-8 from their 20 overs, but on paper that shouldn't have really been enough.

The reality though was Pravin Tambe produced another man of the match winning effort to reduce Chennai to 72-7 before Ravichandran Ashwin (46) and Chris Morris (26*) took the match down to the last over with Chennai needing 17 to win from 5 balls before James Faulkner bowled Rajasthan to victory.


Trinidad & Tobago destroy CSK to finish top of the Group B

The Chennai Super Kings lost top spot in Group B in spectacular fashion to Trinidad & Tobago, who routed the former Champions by 8 wickets in Delhi in a one-sided contest. The result means that CSK will head to Jaipur for their semi-final where they will face the Rajasthan Royals, while Trinidad & Tobago stay on in Delhi where they will meet the Mumbai Indians in the second semi-final. The Indians took second place in Group A today with a thumping win over the Perth Scorchers, thereby pipping the unfortunate Otago Volts to third place.

Trinidad & Tobago won the toss and put CSK in to bat. Ravi Rampaul struck early for his side, getting rid of Michael Hussey for 1 in just the second over. Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina then resurrected the innings by adding 55 for the second wicket before both men fell to some very ordinary bowling from Lendl Simmons. Vijay was the first to go for 27, dragging a very wide ball back onto his stumps before Raina (38) found short fine leg inside the ring on the legside off a poor delivery which he could have hit just about anywhere he pleased.


Unstoppable Mumbai hammer Perth to book semi-final berth

The Mumbai Indians made sure that there are three IPL teams going through to the semi-finals of the Champions League T20, recording a thumping 6 wicket win over the Perth Scorchers in Delhi on Wednesday, to knock the unlucky Otago Volts out of the tournament on net run rate. Mumbai had the advantage of playing a day after the Volts, and as a result knew exactly what they needed to do to qualify for the final four.

The Indians won the toss and opted to put their money on their batsmen chasing down whatever target Perth set them inside 14.2 overs to book their place in the semi-finals. The Scorchers did reasonably well to finish at 149-6 from their 20 overs despite a slow start with Sam Whiteman smashing an unbeaten 51 from 32 balls to post a decent target on the board. Nathan Coulter-Nile once again excelled for Mumbai, taking 3-19 from his 4 overs, while Pragyan Ojha chipped in with 2 wickets too.


Royals retain home advantage thanks to Hodge heroics

Two contrasting half-centuries from Brad Hodge and Ajinkya Rahane at opposite ends of their innings, helped the Rajasthan Royals chase down a target of 140 to hand the Otago Volts their first defeat in 16 Twenty20 matches. In doing so, the Royals extended their own unbeaten run at home to 12 matches, and that will ensure that they play their semi-final match of the Champions League T20 also at Fortress Jaipur later this week.

The Otago Volts lost the toss and were invited to make first use of the pitch. They got off to a decent start before Man of the Match Rahul Shukla was brought on to bowl his first over of the tournament, and the rookie seamer stunned the Volts by taking 3 wickets in 5 balls to knock the stuffing out of their top order, removing Hamish Rutherford, Brendon McCullum and Derek de Boorder in a magical first over.


CLT20: Rain helps Trinidad & Tobago edge Titans in run feast

The Unlimited Titans had their fate taken out of their own hands when they went down by six runs to Trinidad & Tobago in terms of the Duckworth/Lewis method in their final Group B match at the Champions League T20 at Ahmedabad on Monday.

The match was heading for a fascinating climax with three overs left for play with AB de Villiers leading the charge as the Titans needed 36 off 18 balls. But torrential rain drove the players from the field and, with plenty of surface water covering the outfield, there was never the chance of a resumption.


Royals crush Scorchers to book CLT20 semi-final spot

The Rajasthan Royals crushed the Perth Scorchers by 9 wickets in a virtual no contest to book their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League T20. The Scorchers' batting came under severe examination from the Royals' bowling attack at Jaipur, and the visitors crawled to 120 from their 20 overs with Kevon Cooper the pick of the bowlers, taking 4-18 from his 4 overs, while James Faulkner and Pravin Tambe chipped in with 2 wickets apiece.

The Royals recovered from the early loss of Rahul Dravid for naught to coast to an easy win with 21 balls to spare on the back of half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane (62*) and Sanju Samson (50*) against a pretty decent bowling attack.


Volts edge Lions in thrilling CLT20 encounter despite De Kock ton

Quinton de Kock became the second South African after Richard Levi to score two T20 centuries and followed it up with 12 runs off four balls in the super over but it was not enough to get the Highveld Lions over the line in their final Group A match at the Champions League T20 match at Jaipur on Sunday.

The Otago Volts from New Zealand tied the Lions at 167 runs each and then posted 13 runs batting first in the Super Over. De Kock looked as though he had clinched the match when he hit the first three balls from the Volts batting hero, Jimmy Neesham, for 4, 6 and 1 but then his partner, Jean Symes, was out off the next ball. De Kock took a single off the fifth delivery but Dwayne Pretorius was only able to score a single off the final delivery.


CSK through to semi-finals of CLT20 after scorching the Heat

The Chennai Super Kings booked their spot in the semi-finals of the Champions League T20 with a thumping 8 wicket win over the Brisbane Heat in Ranchi on Saturday night. Having been put in to bat on losing the toss, the Heat posted an under par 137-7 in their 20 overs with Ben Cutting scripting a late revival for the Australian side smashing 5 sixes en route to a quickfire 42 from 25 balls.

CSK chased down the target with consummate ease, getting there inside 16 overs for the loss of just 2 wickets with Michael Hussey posting an unbeaten half century with Murali Vijay chipping in with a handy 42 from 27 balls as Chennai added 75 runs for the first wicket.


Titans crush Sunrisers to storm into contention

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Henry Davids led The Unlimited Titans from the front to secure an eight-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad at Ranchi on Saturday to keep their destiny very much in their own hands at the Champions League T20 competition, the same cannot be said about the Sunrisers who slumped to their second defeat in three games and are now staring at elimination even if they win their last game. The Titans meanwhile have now won two out of three matches and have a positive net run rate to go with it.

Although Davids was named Man of the Match for his cracking innings of 64 off 42 balls (four sixes and seven fours) backed up by a tidy spell of spin bowling that earned him figures of 1/18 in his four overs, this was very much a team performance and was undoubtedly the best by a South African franchise against Indian Premier League opposition on the Indian sub-continent since the inception of this competition.


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