Champions League T20
Losing Warriors into semifinal
Mark Boucher (Gallo Images)
Port Elizabeth - The Warriors suffered their first defeat in the Airtel Champions League T20 when they went down by 10 runs to the Chennai Super Kings in the final Group A match at St. George’s Park on Wednesday evening.
But it was good news for both sides as they both qualify for the semi-final round and are thus guaranteed at least $500 000 in prize money.
The Victoria Bushrangers thus fail to qualify for the semi-final stage. They needed either a Warriors’ victory or a bad Warriors’ defeat for this to happen.
The Super Kings finished top of Group A on superior run rate and will play the Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL derby semi-final at Kingsmead on Friday.
The Warriors will travel to Centurion to play the second semi-final against the South Australia Redbacks on Saturday.
The final is at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.
The Super Kings, who won the toss, were given a great start by Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay who put on 63 for the first wicket in 8.4 overs. Hussey went on to make the only half-century in the match as the Warriors fought back with Justin Kreusch taking 3 wickets and Rusty Theron bowling as effectively as ever at the death.
The Warriors could afford to lose by 30 runs to reach the semi-final but they took it a lot closer than that with Davy Jacobs, Kreusch and Mark Boucher all chipping in with useful contributions.
The dismissal of Boucher probably put an end to any chance of the Warriors winning.
The Super Kings put their faith in a three-man spin attack and it paid off with Ashwin taking 3 wickets and Muttiah Muralitharan 2 in addition to bowling a tight final over.