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Warriors destroy the South Australian RedBacks to edge closer to CLT20 Semis

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sar_batThe Chevrolet Warriors kept up their stranglehold on the top of Group B of the Champions League T20 with their second consecutive win of the tournament. The South African giants comprehensively thrashed an outmatched South Australian Redbacks outfit to record a 50-run victory in Hyderabad on Sunday. Not only have the Warriors taken control of Group B, their two wins by convincing margins has gives them a net run rate of +1.28 which could be crucial should things get tight in this group later on. As things stand though, a victory in either of their two remaining games against the Kolkata Knight Riders or England's Somerset would book them a berth in the semi-finals.

JJ Smuts was the star for the Warriors in the first session as he powered his way to an 88 off just 65 balls, an innings etched with 10 fours and 2 sixes. Along the way he shared partnerships of 73 for the second wicket with Colin Ingram (30) and 80 for the third with Mark Boucher (34). Remarkably both these partnerships came in exactly 52 balls and set the Warriors up for their total of 171/5 after they had won the toss. It was only the second time that Smuts had passed 50 in a T20 match and it was the highest score yet for the Warriors in this format, beating the 84 that Tyron Henderson made against the bizhub Highveld Lions in 2004.

It represented a remarkable turn-around of form for the 23-year-old (he celebrated his birthday four days ago) after a disappointing tour of Australia for the SA Emerging Squad on which he made only 29 runs in four innings in three-day competition. What was particularly impressive was the manner in which he took on Shaun Tait, the spearhead of the South Australian attack, who conceded a massive 53 runs in his four overs. He also took a liking to the trio of spinners and dominated all around the ground. The two Daniels were the stars of the show for the Australian outfit with Harris picking up 2-23 in his 4 overs and Christian surrendering an extra run and also getting 2 wickets.

With an above par total behind them the Warriors took a stranglehold on the match when Lonwabo Tsotsobe took two wickets in his first two overs and then Rusty Theron got rid of danger man Callum Ferguson shortly afterwards. It meant that the Redbacks could not take advantage of the power play overs and were 35/3 after six overs.

The rest of the Warriors bowlers kept up the pressure with wickets falling at regular intervals with the result that they conceded only 25 runs in the five ‘death' overs. Tsotsobe finished with 2/30 including 10 dot balls while Wayne Parnell took 1/17 in 4 (12 dot balls), Theron 1/21 in 4 (8 dot balls) and captain Johan Botha 1/11 in 3 (7 dot balls).

Skipper Michael Klinger top scored for the RedBacks, making 34. There were no significant contributions lower down the order either with Borgas, Christian and Ludeman all getting starts but none of the batsmen going on to making it count.

Klinger will need to lift his side with South Australia in action again as early on Tuesday, when they battle the Mumbai Indians in Bangalore. The Warriors meanwhile have a few extra days off as they admire the view from the top of the leaderboard. They are not in action till next Saturday when they meet the Kolkata Knight Riders also in Bangalore.


Warriors: JJ Smuts, Prince, Ingram, Boucher, Thyssen, K Smuts, Botha, Boje, Parnell, Theron, Tsotsobe.

Redbacks: Harris, Klinger, Cooper, Ferguson, Borgas, Christian, Ludeman, O'Brien, Rashid, Lyon, Tait.

Mini Scorecard:

Warriors 171/5 (20overs, 8.55rpo)
JJ Smuts 88 (65) D Harris 2-23
M Boucher 34 (26) D Christian 2-24

South Australia 121/6 (20 overs, 6.05rpo)
M Klinger 34 (29) L Tsotsobe 2-30
D Christian 26 (28) J Botha 1-11

File Photograph Copyright: Michael Henn