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You are here: Cricket CLT20 South Australia stun KKR on the back of Ferguson special

South Australia stun KKR on the back of Ferguson special

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south_australia_celebrateA terrific 84 run partnership off 44 balls between Man of the match Callum Ferguson and the brutal Daniel Christian accompanied by a tidy bowling effort enabled the Redbacks to open their account in the CLT20 with a comprehensive 19 run win over Kolkata who fizzled-out under immense pressure. South Australia manipulated the middle overs better in all departments to knock out the Knight Riders. SAR who raced to 188-5 in 20 overs restricted KKR to 169-9 by picking up wickets at regular intervals. Daniel Harris and Gary Putland inherited 3 wickets apiece to steer the Australian T20 Champions to Glory.

Desperate for a turnaround, the Kokata Knight Riders and the South Australian Redbacks would be facing-off in a Group B encounter on a slow and slugglish wicket at Hyderabad with plenty of juice for the spinners.The toss of the coin went South Australia's way and expectedly Michael Klinger decided to bat first. The Redbacks benched wayward Shaun Tait to make way for Kane Richardson while left arm paceman Gary Putland made the cut at the cost of leg-spinner Adil Rashid. On the contrary, the Knight Riders retained the eleven that went down to Somerset on Sunday. Cricket Pundits were reckoning that 160 would be a good score on that wicket.

The powerplay belonged to to the Redbacks despite losing a wicket. Initially KKR's razor-sharp fielding kept the South Australian openers on their toes. Daniel Harris, who made his aggressive intentions crystal clear welcomed Iqbal Abdullah with a power-packed pull over mid-wicket for a four. Captain Klinger ensured that the singles kept flowing and the South Australian openers were successful in keeping KKR's speed merchant Brett Lee at bay. KKR pressed the self-destruct button in the 4th over when 'birthday boy' - L.Balaji gifted Harris a life by dropping a sitter. But it didn't hurt them much as the Balaji made amends the next over by uprooting Harris, who was in a punishing mood. The Redbacks were 48-1 at the conclusion of an eventful powerplay.

Sensing an opening, the Knights in golden armour cashed in. In the following over South Australia's premier batsman - Klinger was out for 20 - courtesy an impressive piece of fielding by Ryan ten Doeschate. Balaji and the slower men came into play and put the brakes on the run-rate, thereby tightening the stranglehold on the new men - Callum Ferguson and Cameron Borgas. Another disaster struck the South Australians when they were on the verge of rebuilding the innings as Yusuf Pathan struck to get rid of Borgas. Momentum was adopted by Sharukh Khan's superstars! The 13th over witnessed an usually reliable Kallis floor a well-set Ferguson. There was pressure all around as South Australia were poised for a late flurry at 93-3 in 14.

There was another twist in the tale as Yusuf Pathan's 15th over was carted for 20 runs. Callum Ferguson and Dan Christian, who had an off-color IPL season combined to up the impetus with their big-hitting prowess. Dan Christian's flat maximum over deep square leg against Abdulla was extrodinary. It started raining sixes and fours as the deadly duo raised South Australia's third 50 in 20 balls. Even superstar Brett Lee was not spared. The 18th over was adorned by Callum Ferguson's attractive half-century as he continued torment the bowlers. In an over-ambitious effort to up the ante, his partner in crime Christian surrendered 6 shy of a 50. The KKR bowlers sprayed the ball all around and the SAR batsmen feasted on them with elan. SAR manufactured 94 from the last 6 overs which propelled them to a humongous total of 188-5 in 20 overs. Callum Ferguson, unbeaten on 70 at a blistering strike rate of 175 proved to be the 'game-changer'.

An imposing target of 189 under lights demanded a belligerent beginning from the Knight Riders. The Bisla Bomb exploded instantly as KKR pocketed 13 runs off Nathan Lyon's first over. Soon afterwards, Kane Richardson, replacing Tait breached through Bisla's defence to engineer South Australia's first break-through. Surprisingly, Skipper Gambhir dropped himself down the order owing to which Shakib Al Hasan walked in to face the music from SAR. Shakib, who chanced him arm in an desperate attempt to keep up with the run rate presented a  'skier' to the ' Man'- Callum Ferguson. The come back captain, Gambhir got into the groove with two 2 imperious boundaries as KKR sputtered to 46-2 in 6 overs.

Lyon came back into the attack to outfox Gambhir, having him caught at short extra-cover for a run-a-ball 9 in the 7th over. Amidst all the ruins the strike deserted Jacques Kallis. Klinger marshaled his troops magnificently to keep the Redbacks in the driver's seat. Manoj Tiwary with his attacking  strokeplay managed to keep the scoring rate ticking. Tiwary's 'dance down the track six' versus O'Brien delighted the KKR fans.The slide though continued for KKR as the military medium pace of Daniel Harris picked up the vital wicket of Kallis for 20 to cause panic to spread in the KKR camp. Tiwary's confident bating took KKR  were 102-4 in 14 overs, interestingly 9 more than their opponents were at the same stage. Despite that, a turbo-charged Yusuf Pathan special was KKR's only hope, with the required rate hovering around 15.

Unfortunately for KKR, a double strike from the Redbacks crushed any chances of a fightback as the required rate went through the non-existent roof. Pathan departed for a paltry 5 to Putland and the very next over 'Chotta Dada' Tiwary was undone by Richardson. Ryan ten Doeschate had no option but to throw the kitchen sink at the SAR bowlers but it was all too late as KKR struggled to 124-6 in the 17th over. Richardson completed his spell with good figures of 2-29 in his allocated quota. Ten Doeschate, whose lusty hits helped KKR narrow the margin between Kolkata and the eventual winners South Australia returned back to the dressing room for 32 from 16 balls. A late charge from Kolkata's lower order took them to 169-9 in 20 as the Redbacks clinched a crucial win by 19 runs.

Kolkata who have lost 3 games in a row find themselves on the brink of elimination. Every game from now will be a do or die mission for the Knight Riders and moreover they will have to win by comprehensive margins to keep themselves afloat in the tournament. The South Australian Redbacks have notched up their first win to keep their semi-final hopes alive, but will need to keep the momentum going against the Somerset Sabres when these two sides meet on October 1st. Kolkata will next be in action against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in what promises to be a blockbuster all IPL clash on Thursday, 29th September.


Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir, Jacques Kallis, Manvinder Singh Bisla, Manoj Tiwary, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Rajat Bhatia, Iqbal Abdullah, Brett Lee, Lakshmipathy Balaji.

South Australian Redbacks: Michael Klinger, Daniel Harris, Callum Ferguson, Daniel Christian, Tom Cooper, Tim Ludeman, Aaron O' Brien, Cameron Borgas, Nathon Lyon, Gary Putland, Kane Richardson.

Mini Scorecard:

South Australia: 188-5 (20 overs,9.40 rpo)
Callum Ferguson 70*(40) L.Balaji 2-27
Daniel Christian 42(27) Brett Lee 1-42

Kolkata: 169-9 (20 overs, 8.45 rpo)
Manoj Tiwary 40 (31) Gary Putland 3-31
Ryan ten Doeschate 32 (16)  Daniel Harris 3-42

South Australia win by 19 runs

File Photograph Copyright: Michael Henn