Ruhunu Eleven's Dinesh Chandimal raises his bat after scoring a fifty against Trinidad & Tobago. (AFP)
T&T win: In the end, Sherwin Ganga’s blistering knock eased any nerves the West Indian side might have had after losing early wickets. Indeed, they made the chase tougher for themselves, with several batsmen falling trying to play the big shots. Ruhunu tried hard, but the score was never likely to be enough. Unsurprisingly, Ganga gets the man-of-the-match award for helping his side win with six deliveries to spare.
19th over, T&T win by 5 wickets: Ganga has played a superb innings, and fittingly smashes a six to seal T&T’s victory. He began the over with a six as well, which the fielder at long-off, Sampath, could only get a hand to. A four followed, that too off a no-ball bowled by Janoda. Ganga ends with 39 (15), having hit 4 fours and 2 sixes. Bravo also played his part, unbeaten on 44 (49).
17th over: T&T are in the front seat now, and they have Bravo and Sherwin Ganga to thank. While Bravo smashed a huge six soon after Mohammed’s departure, Ganga has raced to 16 from just 7 balls, including three fours. The last three overs have gone for 11 runs each, and T&T are 114-5. Another 25 runs needed, 18 balls to go.
14th over: Ruhunu edge ahead and Mohammed (17) will be kicking himself! After hitting a six, he falls on the next delivery. Arosh Janoda’s quick ball is top-edged and skipper Udawatte makes no mistake, running in from extra cover to take the catch. T&T are 81-5.
13th over: Bravo (22) and Jason Mohammed (11) steer T&T to 74-4. The required rate is close to 10 now, with 65 runs needed from 42 balls.
10th over: Still anybody’s game with 10 overs to go. Ramdin and Bravo (15 not out) string together a partnership of sorts, before Ramdin (18) tries one shot too many. A boundary is followed by a mighty heave that is safely caught by keeper Chandimal. Chinthaka Perera is the bowler. T&T are 57-4, needing a further 82 runs from 60 balls.
6th over: Jayasuriya makes his mark with the ball and Ganga is gone, leg-before for 17 (10). T&T reach 29-3, Bravo on 7, new man Ramdin on 1.
5th over: Eventful over as T&T highlight how quickly things can change in T20. Darren Bravo survives a run-out chance off the first delivery. Then skipper Ganga lays into Sampath’s off-breaks, smashing a six and two fours off consecutive balls. 16 runs off that over, T&T 27-2.
3rd over: Game on? Gunaratne picks up another one, Simmons out for 3, caught at mid-off by Shalika Karunanayake, trying to make some room for himself.
1st over: Just the start Ruhunu needed. The two players who contributed most with the bat combine to give Ruhunu their first wicket. Adrian Barath goes for a duck, stumped by Chandimal off Gunaratne. T&T, chasing 139, are 1-1.
Mid-innings: Ruhunu were on the back-foot from the start after losing Jayasuriya early, followed by two quick run-outs. Chandimal’s half-century and Perera’s cameo in the 19th over spared their blushes, but T&T will go in as firm favourites at the break.
20th over: Chasing quick runs, Ruhunu lose four wickets, including three more run-outs. First Amal Athulathmudali (0) goes after smart work by Denesh Ramdin, then Sampath (23) follows and Arosh Janoda (0) is run out off the last ball to bring the total to six run-outs in the entire innings. Meanwhile, Rampaul bowls Chinthaka Perera (0) with a cracking yorker. Ruhunu all out for 138.
19th over: Kushal Janith Perera hits one six and one four before perishing to a top edge, caught by Badree off Lendl Simmons for 15. Still, Sampath hits a four off the last ball to ensure Ruhunu get 19 runs in that over, their best by far.
18th over: Chandimal reaches his half-century, and then falls in the next over, caught and bowled by Ravi Rampaul. His 50 (48) has been key for Ruhunu, who are 118-5. Sampath is on 15.
15th over: Kevon Cooper gets the breakthrough for T&T. Gunaratne is bowled for 20. Tillakaratne Sampath, who is incidentally Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan’s brother, walks out. Ruhunu 94-4.
13th over: Gunaratne (19) and Chandimal (42) are staging a comeback for the Sri Lankan side. Chandimal has hit two sixes so far, including a big one over long-on off Sherwin Ganga. Ruhunu 87-3.
10th over: Ruhunu reach 62-3 at the half-way mark.
8th over: Ruhunu have steadied after the early flurry of wickets. Dinesh Chandimal (21 off 19) is holding one end, with Janaka Gunaratne (3) giving him company. Meanwhile Samuel Badree (1-29) has finished his quota of 4 overs, having picked up the crucial wicket of Jayasuriya.
4th over: Double blow for Ruhunu and yet another run-out! Milinda Siriwardana rushed for a single but collided with Ravi Rampaul. He is eventually short of the crease, out for 1. Ruhunu in trouble at 27-3.
4th over: Inexplicable running and skipper Udawatte is run out for 10.
3rd over: Big blow for Ruhunu! Sanath Jayasuriya (13) - the oldest man taking part in the tournament at 42 - is gone, trapped leg-before-wicket by Samuel Badree trying to hit a reverse shot. Ruhunu 23-1.
Toss: Ruhunu Eleven skipper Mahela Udawatte has won the toss and elected to bat first against Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) in the first qualifying game, as the Champions League Twenty20 competition gets underway in Hyderabad.
Trinidad will be led by Daren Ganga, who has represented the West Indies in 48 Tests, 35 one-day internationals and a solitary T20 match, which was against New Zealand in 2006.
Except Ruhunu and T&T, there are four other teams - Kolkata Knight Riders, Auckland Aces, Leicestershire and Somerset - vying for three vacant spots in the main event of the tournament, which will begin from September 23.
Mahela Udawatte (c), Amal Athulathmudali, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Janaka Gunaratne, Arosh Janoda, Sanath Jayasuriya, Shalika Karunanayake, Chinthaka Perera, Tillakaratne Sampath, Milinda Siriwardana, Kushal Janith Perera
Trinidad & Tobago:
Daren Ganga (c), Samuel Badree, Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Sherwin Ganga, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Lendl Simmons