Moises Henriques's all-round bravado and Trinidad & Tobago's brain-freeze resulted in New South Wales rallying from the brink to snatch victory in the first Super Over of this year's Champions League, here on Wednesday.
A sparse crowd at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium was in for a surprise feast as victory played peekaboo with both teams right till the end.
Ravi Rampaul's ploy of bowling round-the-stumps (with fine-leg inside the circle) backfired as Henriques plundered four consecutive boundaries to set up a target of 19 in the Super Over.
A valiant return-of-fire from Lendl Simmons proved inadequate as T&T was knocked over by four runs.
Earlier, NSW's chase boiled down to 17 runs being needed off the last over; the conclusion in favour of T&T seemed foregone. However, a fair bit of theatre surfaced as the 24-year-old Henriques walloped a couple of boundaries to kick-start a gripping end-piece.
Bowling round-the-wicket, Rampaul lost his radar, and the plot, thereby allowing the batsman to exploit the sparsely tenanted on-side. A boundary and a brace from Pat Cummins led the match into the realm of the Super Over.
NSW had launched its pursuit with no pretensions of dominance. David Warner played out leggie Samuel Badree with respect, not too mindful of the resultant maiden over. Warner had his revenge, though, slamming two boundaries off Badree's second over. Shane Watson, surviving a close leg-before shout, unleashed a swat-drive past the bowler. All seemed well until he eventually holed out to long-on. Warner was a victim of the sluggish nature of the wicket.
Along with Kevon Cooper, Sherwin Ganga and Sunil Narine put the Aussies in a state of flux.
Only captain Simon Katich and Henriques managed to hold the lower-half of the batting order together. Their resilience didn't go unrewarded.
Earlier, electing to bat, Trinidad & Tobago glided along before a sequence of wickets in the middle stages left it gasping for runs. The concluding overs were productive though: Trinidad amassed 50 runs in the last five.
Katich once again showed his propensity to rotate the bowlers, deploying four of them in six overs (he used as many against Cape Cobras in the first six overs). After Pat Cummins had cranked out a probing over, he was replaced with birthday boy Stuart Clark. Opener Simmons was more than eager to spoil his party; a drilled-drive down the ground and a swat over point being his choicest weapons.
His partner Adrian Barath showcased some Caribbean exuberance himself.
A scythed drive was topped-up with a leaping square cut. The merriment came to an end as left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe shattered Barath's stumps.
Under the hammer
Soon after, Henriques eliminated Darren Bravo off his first ball and
T&T was under the hammer. While Simmons's dismissal compounded the misery further, skipper Darren Ganga and Denesh Ramdin spearheaded their team's resurrection with spurts of industrious batting.
There was a lucky reprieve for Ganga after the third-umpire ruled him not-out despite replays clearly showing that he was short of the crease.
NSW failed to capitalise on the stranglehold established by O'Keefe and Henriques. The leakage of runs coincided with Warner's bizarre fielding — he misjudged the ball twice, running along the wrong side.
The Trinidadians guffawed boisterously at the sight, but NSW had the last laugh.
Trinidad & Tobago: L. Simmons lbw b Henriques 41 (39b, 5x4), A. Barath b O'Keefe 15 (15b, 3x4), D. Bravo c Rohrer b Henriques 6 (10b), D. Ganga c Warner b Cummins 21 (23b, 1x4, 1x6), D. Ramdin c O'Keefe b Starc 19 (16b, 3x4), K. Cooper (run out) 12 (9b, 1x4), R. Rampaul (not out) 15 (7b, 2x4), J. Mohammed (not out) 2 (2b); Extras (lb-3, w-4, nb-1): 8; Total (for six wkts. in 20 overs): 139.
Fall of wickets: 1-41, 2-54, 3-69, 4-106, 5-112, 6-137.
NSW Blues bowling: Smith 2-0-20-0, Cummins 4-0-29-1, Starc 4-0-30-1, Clark 2-0-16-0, O'Keefe 4-0-14-1, Henriques 4-0-27-2.
NSW Blues: D. Warner b S. Ganga 38 (36b, 6x4), S. Watson c Simmons b Narine 14 (15b, 2x4), D. Smith b S. Ganga 11 (17b), S. Katich c Badree b Rampaul 23 (21b, 2x4), S. Smith c Simmons b S. Ganga 11 (12b), B. Rohrer c Bravo b Cooper 3 (5b), M. Henriques (not out) 18 (9b, 3x4), S. O'Keefe c S. Ganga b Narine 3 (3b), M. Starc (run out) 1 (2b), P. Cummins (not out) 7 (3b, 1x4); Extras (lb-1, nb-3, w-6): 10; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 139.
Fall of wickets: 1-48, 2-65, 3-72, 4-90, 5-102, 6-110, 7-115, 8-122.
Trinidad & Tobago bowling: Badree 4-1-26-0, Rampaul 4-0-42-1, Narine 4-0-26-2, S. Ganga 4-0-26-3, Cooper 4-0-18-1.