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An exceptional unbeaten 64 from Zimbabwe-born Englishman Gary Ballance powered Yorkshire through to the main draw of the Champions League T20 as the the English side edged past a greatly depleted Trinidad & Tobago side by 6 wickets with 7 balls to spare.
Batting first after winning the toss, T&T didn't take long to find themselves in a world of trouble, crumbling to 8-3 inside 3 overs. The innings was rescued by stylish left-hander Darren Bravo (45) and wicketkeeper batsman Denesh Ramdin (59) with the latter looking in exceptional form. The duo added 93 for the fourth wicket before Bravo fell to the combination of Ballance and leg spinner Adil Rashid.
T&T continued to spontaneously combust with Jason Mohammed run out for naught before Ramdin himself was run out shortly after, resulting in the team creaping forward to 148-9 in their 20 overs, with another 3 wickets falling in the final over.
West Indies' World T20 winning heroes Samuel Badree and Ravi Rampaul shared the new ball for T&T and landed a couple of early blows to keep their side in the contest, before Joe Root and Adam Lyth stitched together a brief partnership to get the runs going for Yorkshire.
The English side though soon found themselves in trouble at 51-4 midway through the 9th over, well behind the required run rate and struggling to keep pace against a disciplined Trinidad & Tobago side.
However, a match-winning unbeaten stand worth 103 between Gary Ballance (64*) and Adil Rashid (33*) saw the English side cruise to victory by 6 wickets. Ballance was particularly impressive, smashing 64 from just 37 balls, including 6 sixes.
The result means that Yorkshire join Auckland as the two sides that progress to the competition proper with Auckland going into Group A alongside the Kolkata Knight Riders, Perth Scorchers, Titans and Delhi Dardevils, while Yorkshire head into Group B where they take on the Chennai Super Kings, Sydney Sixers, Lions and Mumbai Indians.
Tomorrow's last round of Qualifying matches are now as a result dead rubbers with Saturday kicking off the main event with a double header between the Titans and Perth Scorchers followed by two IPL teams - Delhi Daredevils and champions Kolkata Knight Riders.
Trinidad & Tobago 148-9 (20 overs, 7.40rpo)
D Ramdin 59 (40) R Sidebottom 3-13
Yorkshire 154-4 (18.5 overs, 8.17rpo)
G Ballance 64* (37) Y Ottley 1-16
Yorkshire win by 6 wickets
- 14/10/2012 18:47 - Sydney Sixers cruise past Chennai Super Kings to register comfortable 14 run win
- 13/10/2012 21:20 - Delhi Daredevils rout IPL Champions KKR by 52 runs
- 13/10/2012 19:38 - Titans thumps Perth Scorchers by 39 runs to open 2012 Champions League T20