Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) thrashed Leicestershire by 51 runs in a Champions League T20 qualifier here Tuesday to advance to the main stage of the competition.
Openers Adrian Barath (67) and Lend Simmons (62) forged a 139-run stand and propelled T&T to 168 after captain Darren Ganga opted to bat on a slow wicket at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. The bowlers, spearheaded by speedster Ravi Rampaul (4-14) then came to the party to reduce Leicester to 117 for nine in 20 overs.
The Caribbean side became the first team to qualify for the main stage after winning both their qualifying games in as many days. They defeated Sri Lanka's Ruhunu Eleven by five wickets Monday. The top three of the six competing teams get to play in the main stage, beginning Friday in Bangalore.
Barath and Simmons took the Leicester bowlers to the cleaners, occupying the crease for 18 overs, and ensured the team a formidable total.
Barath was named the Man of the Match for his 47-ball knock that comprised six fours and two big sixes. He and Simmons fell to consecutive deliveries off Harry Gurney (2-33), leaving Darren Bravo (18 not out) and Dinesh Ramdin (11 not out) to do further damage in the death overs.
Leicester, England's newly crowned T20 Champions, were out of contention when they lost half their side for 20 runs.
"We weren't in a good position yesterday (against Ruhunu) chasing a small total but today Barath and Simmons played really well," said T&T skipper Ganga.
"As a team, we got to do the right thing over and over again, we need to keep ourselves motivated for every match, and try qualify for the semifinals."
T&T were the runners-up in the 2009 edition of the Champions League.