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The Chevrolet Warriors on Wednesday completed a disappointing couple of days for the two South African franchises in the Champions League T20 when they joined the Cape Cobras on an early flight home from India. The Warriors were shown the door by English powerhouse Somerset Sabres in a match that was a lot closer than the 12 run margin suggests. The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras suffered the same fate on Tuesday when they were defeated in their final Group A match by Trinidad & Tobago.
Ironically it was the two South Africans in the Somerset side that shone brightest today with Captain Alfonso Thomas leading by example with excellent match figures of 2-16 from his four overs, including a superb second spell which saw him pick up 2 wickets for 2 runs in the penultimate over of the match. All rounder Roelof van der Merwe was the other star for the Sabres as he smashed a whirlwind 32 from just 16 balls, dominating his second wicket partnership with Craig Kieswetter, who top scored with an unbeaten 56 from 52 balls.
Van der Merwe then came back to bowl the final over with the Warriors needing an unlikely 21 to win. The champion competitor conceded just 8, picking up a wicket too in the process.
Somerset appeared to have missed a trick with the bat as they posted just 146 on a pitch that appeared to be slowing down a tad. However, the batsmen who came after Van der Merwe struggled to accelerate with spin twins Nicky Boje and Johan Botha tying them up in a web. Their 8 overs conceded just 41 runs and appeared to have put the Warriors firmly in the driver's seat after Van der Merwe's early assault.
The Warriors looked in complete control of the game as they reached 71/1 at the halfway stage of the innings on the back of a second wicket partnership of 49 in 7.2 overs between Jon-Jon Smuts and Colin Ingram. But they both got out in quick succession and, on a slow and inconsistent pitch, it was difficult to get any momentum into the runs chase. The batsmen that followed struck just two boundaries and two sixes in the last 8 overs and were always going to struggle to make up the deficit.
The Sabres' opponents in the semi-final will be determined after the last team to make the final four is determined based on the outcome of the game between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the South Australian Redbacks.
Somerset: Trego, Kieswetter, Van der Merwe, Hildreth, Butler, Compton, Suppiah, Thomas, Dibble, Kirby, Kartik
Warriors: J Smuts, Prince, Ingram, K Smuts, Botha, Thyssen, Boje, Parnell, Dyili, Theron, Tsotsobe.
Somerset 146/4 (20 overs, 7.3rpo)
C Kieswetter 56 (52) J Theron 1-23
R van der Merwe 32 (16) J Smuts 1-31
Warriors 134/8 (20 overs, 6.7rpo)
J Smuts 38 (39) A Thomas 2-16
C Ingram 31 (25) M Kartik 2-23
Somerset win by 12 runs
File Photograph Copyright: Barry Zee
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