Chennai, Oct 2: The semi-final door was virtually shut on defending champions Chennai Super Kings as they lost the crunch Champions League Twenty20 Group A clash by 12 runs to Trinidad and Tobago, in Chennai on Sunday.
Chasing a small target of 124, all Chennai could manage was just 111 for six as batting was extremely tough on the MA Chidambaram wicket.
Off-break bowler Sunil Narine emerged as star performer for T&T as be bowled exceptionally well, claiming three wickets and giving away just eight runs in his four overs.
Coming into the crucial, Chennai did well in the first half by restricting the rivals to a paltry 123 for eight but the target could have been less had they not conceded 49 runs in the last five overs.
T&T managed those 49 runs largely on the back of a heroic innings from Kevon Cooper, who hit a 10-ball 28 with the help of three sixes and a four.
Opener William Perkins (34) top scored for the T&T while Adrian Barath (23) also played a useful knock.
Australian paceman Doug Bollinger (3/30) and spinner Shadab Jakati (2/18) bowled well for Chennai in the first half as they shared five wickets between them.
The target was not too big but batting was not easy and the small score proved quite difficult to achieve for the Chennai, who now have lost two of the three matches played.
Dwayne Bravo was top scorer for Chennai with his unbeaten 32 but that only reduced the defeat margin.
Now Chennai need to win their last match against New South Wales Blues on Tuesday and hope that a mathematical miracle help them make the cut for the semi-finals.
T&T registered their first win and interestingly they too stand a chance to qualify for the semi-finals as they take on Cape Cobras in their last group outing on Tuesday.
Anything can happen in Group A and a clear picture will emerge only on Tuesday as all the teams including NSW, Cape Cobras, T&T along with Chennai, who have the poorest run-rate, are in the semi-final hunt at least mathematically.
Mumbai are at the top with five points.
Chennai needed 61 runs from the last five overs as they managed only 63 runs before that, having lost five top-order batsmen.
Bravo and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were at the crease but the skipper became third vicitm of Narine, who had earlier dimissed Murali Vijay (6) and Suresh Raina (2).
Strokemaking was not easy although Bravo did his bit by smashing an unbeaten 22-ball 32 and Albie Morkel managing 18 of 12 balls but that proved insufficient in the end.
Chennai did not have a great start as they lost Vijay, Raina and Michael Hussey (13) within the power-play period and with just 27 runs on the board.
By the half-way mark the hosts had also lost Wriddhiman Saha (8), leg before to Cooper, needing another 76 runs. Only four runs had reduced from the target that S Badrinath (15) ran himself out in a mix up with Dhoni.
Earlier, Cooper helped his side go past the 100-run mark as he reeled off three sixes and a four in his 10 ball knock before getting out in the last ball of the innings.
Runs did not come freely for the Caribbean batsmen after deciding to bat as Bollinger and Albie Morkel bowled tight, although the pacemen were punished when strayed.
Bravo and Jakati continued the good work as only three boundaries came in the first eight overs with Trinidad and Tobago managing just 34 runs on the board.
The agile Chennai fielders supported the bowlers superbly although left-arm spinner Jakati dropped a chance off his own bowling when Lendl Simmons smashed one straight to the bowler.
Perkins came out of the shell as he first hit a six off R Ashwin in the ninth over and then lofted Jakati for his second big shot but only to get out in the next ball, handing S Badrinath an easy catch.
Simmons ran himself out in the next over and then Jakati struck the rivals big blow by dismissing dangerous Darren Bravo (1) off his own bowling.
Skipper Daren Ganga also did not help the team's cause as he top-edged one off Ashwin to Suresh Raina, leaving the side struggling at 72 for four in the 15th over.
Luckily for T&T, Cooper got going and the side got something on board to fight.