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You are here: Cricket CLT20 Cape Cobras thrash NSW Blues in Champions League T20 Group A Opener

Cape Cobras thrash NSW Blues in Champions League T20 Group A Opener

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moises_henriques_3South African veteran batsman Herschelle Gibbs and 23-year old dashing opener Richard Levi carried on from where they left off in last season's Domestic T20 Final to lead the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras to an impressive seven-wicket victory over the NSW Blues in their opening Champions League T20 match at Chennai on Saturday. In the clash between the domestic T20 champions of South Africa and Australia the Cobras completed a wonderful double for South African cricket after the Chevrolet Warriors' victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore the previous day.

The Blues, who won the toss, dominated the first 10 overs when the international duo of Shane Watson and David Warner exploited some sloppy fielding to enable them to post 82/2 on the board at the halfway stage of the innings. Warner made 20 from just 13 balls before falling to Charl Langeveldt, while Watson smashed 34 from 29 deliveries before Robin Peterson got the better of him. During this period the Cobras dropped three catches and also gave away two unnecessary boundaries with some careless work on the ground.

But the Cobras then took over for the remaining 30 overs of the match as first the Australians lost six wickets for 53 runs in the second half of their innings. Vernon Philander (2/21 with 10 dot balls) led the way and Robin Peterson (1/20 with 12 dot balls) also stood out. Former Australian opener and New South Wales skipper Simon Katich fell for 7 on the first ball of the 11th over and that started the slide for the Blues, who had surprisingly dropped Phil Hughes from their playing eleven, despite the youngster making a century in Sri Lanka last week. Ironically Hughes was replacing Katich in the Australian Test side. Daniel Smith, who came in at no.3, made a cameo 24 from 16 balls but fell in the next over to Philander. No other Aussie batsman scored at quicker than a run a ball.

Needing a paltry 136 runs to win, Gibbs and Levi launched the Cobras innings superbly, rushing to 88 before Levi was dismissed off the third ball of the 10th over. Levi contributed 43 off only 27 balls and Man-of-the-Match Gibbs almost finished the job with 55 off 47 balls.

When Levi was dismissed the target had been reduced to 48 off 63 balls and Gibbs virtually saw them home by which time the target had been reduced to 24 off 34 balls. It was left to Justin Ontong and JP Duminy to finish the job and give the Cobras a healthy net run rate which could be important in what is a very tough group.

The Cobras are next in action against the defending champions, the Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday night, while the Blues take on Trinidad & Tobago earlier the same day.

New South Wales Blues: D Warner, S Watson, D Smith, S Katich, S Smith, B Rohrer, M Henriques, S O'Keefe, N Hauritz, P Cummins, M Starc.

Cape Cobras: R Levi, H Gibbs, J Duminy, O Shah, J Kemp, D Vilas, V Philander, J ontong, R Peterson, D Steyn, C Langeveldt.

Mini Scorecard:

New South Wales Blues 135/8 (20 overs, 6.75rpo)
S Watson 34 (29) V Philander 2-21
D Smith 24 (16) C Langeveldt 2-38

Cape Cobras 136/3 (17.2overs, 7.84 rpo)
H Gibbs 55 (47) M Henriques 1-20
R Levi 43 (27) S Smith 1-27

Cape Cobras win by 7 wickets

File Photograph Copyright: Dave