Champions League T20
Redbacks ease into semis
Daniel Christian (Gallo Images)
Durban - The South Australian Redbacks became the first team to qualify for the Champions League Twenty20 semi-finals after they thumped the Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets at Sahara Stadium in Kingsmead on Friday.Scoreboard
Chasing Bangalore’s 154 all out South Australia raced to 155 for two to secure the win with nine balls to spare.
The victory was the Redbacks third on the trot, after wins over the Highveld Lions and the Mumbai Indians, and gives them a comfortable lead atop Group B with six points, with their closest rivals Bangalore, Mumbai and Lions all on two points.
The romp over Bangalore was led by the opening pair of Daniel Harris and Michael Klinger as the duo put on 124 runs off 88 balls for the first wicket, their second consecutive century stand after they combined for 112 runs against Mumbai.
On a windy night in Durban Klinger continued his remarkable form in the competition by notching up his third half-century in three matches to end not out on 69 off 57 balls.
Harris, who is a qualified doctor, was no less effective as he contributed 57 off 38 balls before he was run out after playing a delivery from Anil Kumble to Virat Kohli at backward point. Kohli’s throw to the bowler’s end found Harris well short of his ground.
Graham Manou (0) lasted just three balls before he was bowled by a googly from leg-spinner Kumble but Callum Ferguson (21 not out) ensured there would be no late fight back from Bangalore.
Earlier, Daniel Christian nabbed four for 23 off 3.5 overs as Bangalore were bowled out one ball shy of their allotted 20 overs.
The 27-year-old Christian claimed three of his wickets during the last over of the innings when he had Vinay Kumar (6) caught at deep square leg before he bowled Dale Steyn (0) and Cameron White (25).
Bangalore failed to build on destructive knocks from Dillon du Preez and Ross Taylor as New Zealand’s Taylor blitzed his way to 46 off 28 balls while Du Preez, playing in place of Jacques Kallis who missed out due to a sore back, weighed in with 46 off 25 balls.
But the next highest score was just 25 from White as the Redbacks turned in a superb performance in the field.
At times the Australian outfit’s fielding was a joy to behold with Ferguson’s catch in the covers to remove Robin Uthappa (0) being a particular highlight with Ferguson diving to his left to complete a reflex grab.
Bangalore captain Kumble won the toss, elected to bat and saw his team slump to seven for two inside two overs.
Manish Pandey (4) top-edged a delivery from speedster Shaun Tait with slip Harris taking a good catch running towards the third man boundary before Uthappa fell to left-arm seamer Gary Putland courtesy of Ferguson’s catch.
Taylor’s aggressive innings saw Bangalore romp to 53 before Rahul Dravid (4) was given out after appearing to glove a delivery from left-arm spinner Aaron O’Brien to keeper Manou although television replays suggested that the ball came off the batsman’s arm guard.
Taylor slammed eight fours and a six during his knock but Tait’s second spell saw the back of Taylor when the right-handed batsman sent an edge through to Manou.
Taylor’s dismissal left Bangalore on 69 for four in the 10th over and matters did not improve when Kohli (3) thick-edged a delivery from leg-spinner Cullen Bailey to short third man.
But Du Preez and Ferguson added some respectability to the score with a sixth-wicket stand of 58 before Du Preez became Christian’s first victim when he was caught at long-on.
Tait, who bowled with real pace, picked up two for 23 while Putland captured two for 37.Teams:Royal Challengers Bangalore:
MK Pandey; R Dravid; RV Uthappa; L, RPL Taylor; CL White; V Kohli; D du Preez; P Kumar; R Vinay Kumar; Dale Steyn; A Kumble
South Australian Redbacks:
M Klinger; DJ Harris; GA Manou; CJ Ferguson; CJ Borgas; TLW Cooper; DT Christian; AW O''Brien; CB Bailey; GD Putland; SW Tait