Mumbai Indians deserving won the 2013 edition of the Champions League, getting the better of Rajasthan Royals in the final. However, there were great performances from batsmen from different teams throughout the series. Here’s a look at them.
Ajinkya Rahane: The Rajasthan Royals opener was by far the most consistent batsman in the tournament. He featured in all six games Rajasthan played and ended up with an impressive tally of 288 runs averaging 58. In fact, his last four knocks in the event were all half-centuries, including a fluent 65 in the high-scoring final. If anything, his strike rate of 119 was slightly on the lower side. Then again, his job was to play the long innings, which he did throughout. Had Rahane got better support from the big hitters in the final, Rajasthan could have run Mumbai a lot closer.
Dwayne Smith: The opener was among the key factors why Mumbai could go all the way to clinch the title. In five matches, he amassed 223 runs at an average of 56 with two half-centuries. His strike-rate of 143 was the most striking aspect of his performance. Smith gave Mumbai the early lead in the final as well with his impressive 44. His scores in the previous matches were equally significant. He made 63 not out, 48 and 59 heading into the final against Rajasthan. Thanks to Smith’s consistency and scoring rate, Mumbai’s big hitters could take charge at the end.
Sanju Samson: The youngster gave further proof of his enormous talent during this CLT20. Batting lower down the order for most part of the event, he notched up 192 runs in six games at a strike rate of 128 and average of 38. Amazingly, he came up with three fifties, the most incredible of which was scored in the final. His 60 off 33 balls in the summit clash against Mumbai was an exhibition in clean hitting. Sadly for Rajasthan, Samson’s departure in the final ended their faint hopes. His two half- centuries in the earlier games paled in comparison, but were crucial to the team’s cause.
Rohit Sharma: The Mumbai captain did not get the big scores, but his cameos were scored at such a thunderous pace that it had a match-turning impact more than once. Sharma managed 173 runs in five games with one fifty and an average of 43, but it was his strike rate of 152 that had a telling impact. Sharma’s unbeaten 51 against Scorchers took Mumbai into the semis out of nowhere. His 25 and 33 in the semis and the final came at an equally quick pace to cause severe damage to the opposition.
Ewin Lewis: The Trinidad & Tobago batsman was the surprise success story of the tournament, and one of the two main reasons why the Windies side progressed to the last four in the event, the other of course being Sunil Narine. The southpaw featured in five matches and blasted 211 runs at the strike rate of 142, with two fifties and an impressive average of 42. Lewis made 70 in the crucial game against Titans, 38 against Super Kings and 62 in the semis against Mumbai, which they went on to lose. Undoubtedly one of the biggest gains for T&T from the series.
--By A Cricket Analyst