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Somerset beat KKR by 11 runs, both teams qualify for Champions League

somerset1A phenomenal all round effort from a depleted Somerset side saw them pull off a big 11 run victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders in the last qualifying match of the CL T20 in Hyderabad on Wednesday night. Somerset, batting first, amassed a sizeable 166 for 6 on a slow track owing to a fine 70 from opener Peter Trego. Kolkata suffered several setbacks in the run-chase before eventually creeping over the qualification mark due to a magnificent knock from the Dutch batsman Ryan ten Doeschate. Despite the defeat, Kolkata go through along with Somerset to the next stage of the competition, while Sri Lankan side Ruhunu Eleven are ousted from the competition despite their win earlier in the day against the Leicestershire Foxes.

With a close finish in the corresponding Pool B fixture between the leicestershire foxes and Ruhuna, there was a realistic possibility of both KKR and Somerset making it through to the main rounds, irrespective of the result in what was the last qualifying match of the tournament. Somerset captain Alfonso Thomas won an important toss and chose to bat first on a wicket that looked a bit on the slower side. Both teams went in with unchanged line ups from their respective match winning sides against the Auckland Aces.


Ruhunu beat Leicestershire by 4 runs to keep Champions League hopes alive

Sri Lankan T20 Champions Ruhunu Elevens kept their Champions League qualification hopes alive by picking up a narrow 4 run victory against the Leicestershire Foxes in the early kick-off in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Ruhunu were outplayed for large parts of the contest, but played the last 5 overs of each innings exceptionally well to steal the unlikeliest of wins. Both teams' innings were dominated by a particular player - Dinesh Chandimal for Ruhunu and veteran Abdul Razzaq for the Foxes - with little support on offer from the rest of the side. However, some lusty blows late in the Ruhunu innings from Shalika Karunanayake, and some exceptional bowling from Gunaratne and Silva, both of whom picked up 3 wickets each, saw the Lankan side stay alive in the competition at the expense of their English opposition.

Leicestershire, looking to bounce back from the thumping they received at the hands of Trinidad and Tobago yesterday, won the toss and opted to field first despite the trend right through this tournament being quite the opposite. Undoubtedly their decision was influenced by the heavy defeat their suffered and the need to improve their appalling net run rate. They were forced into making one change with skipper Matthew Hoggard dropping out due to injury, handing over the reins to Andrew McDonald. Hoggard's place in the side was taken by spinner Jigar Naik. Ruhunu also made a change to their side with Silva coming into the playing eleven.


Somerset squeeze last ball win in a thriller against Auckland

somerset1The Auckland Aces were unfortunate to be sent packing from the Champions League T20 on Tuesday losing back to back narrow games. Their latest loss came against the Somerset Sabres, who defied the odds to squeeze past the finish line on the last ball of the match with skipper Alfonso Thomas clonking the winning runs. Some high quality bowling was the highlight of the game with the Sabres bowlers doing exceedingly well to restrict Auckland to 125/7 despite a battling unbeaten 47 from Lou Vincent. In response, the Sabres were in trouble at 64/5 before a match winning partnership between James Hildreth and Steve Snell kept their hopes alive in the competition.

The Auckland Aces looked to bounce back from the narrow defeat they suffered at the hands of the Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday when they took on England's no.2 side the Somerset Sabres in the 8pm kick-off at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. The evening started perfectly for the New Zealand side, with them winning the toss and choosing to bat first. They named an unchanged side from last night's game, keeping faith in the batsmen who let them down after the bowlers had done a tremendous job earlier on.


Kolkata Champions League Matches moved to Hyderabad and Bangalore due to heavy rain

Following a discussion between Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and the Champions League Twenty (CLT20), the CLT20 Governing Council has today decided to move matches from Eden Gardens to Hyderabad and Bengaluru, pending approval from local authorities.

Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya, President, CAB said:"With regret and in the best interests of the tournament, CAB and CLT20 have reluctantly agreed to moving its four scheduled Group B matches away from Eden Gardens due to the heavy rains that have deluged Kolkata."


Trinidad and Tobago rout Leicestershire to book place in Champions League Main event

2009 Runners-up Trinidad and Tobago powered their way into the Group Stages of the Champions League proper with a crushing 51 run win against the Leicestershire Foxes on Tuesday. The Caribbean Kings made a daunting 168/2 from their 20 overs on the back on a couple of half-centuries from openers Lendl Simmons and Adrian Barath. Leicestershire collapsed to 20/5 in response inside the powerplay overs and despite a battling half-century from James Taylor, ended significantly short of the Trinidad and Tobago score.

The third match of the Champions League T20 Qualifiers kicked off in front of a sparse crowd at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Trinidad & Tobago won the toss and to no one's surprise opted to bat first. The West Indian side named an unchanged squad after their win yesterday, but would have definitely been looking for a better contribution from their top order. The Leicestershire Foxes, the English T20 Champions, were playing their first game of the competition and picked a largely predictable side with former England fast bowler Matthew Hoggard leading them. Their star players were allrounders Abdul Razzaq and Andrew McDonald.


Kolkata Knight Riders squeeze out 2 run win against Auckland Aces

The only Indian team in the qualifying rounds, the Kolkata Knight Riders, overcame a huge scare from the Kiwi domestic champions the Auckland Aces to beat them by two runs in a see-saw thriller in a Pool A qualifying fixture in Hyderabad on Monday night. The Knight Riders made a quick start, but some tight bowling and excellent fielding restricted them to just 121/6 in their 20 overs. Auckland looked to be running away with the match initially, with Lou Vincent leading their charge, but the slow bowlers of Kolkata came into their own on a typically dry subcontinental pitch and kept their team in the hunt till the very end. Auckland needed 11 to win in the final over and fell agonizingly short as Brett Lee did just enough to bowl his side to a crucial win.

Crowd favourites, Kolkata Knight Riders walked into the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad on monday night with high hopes of a win against the Kiwi champions, the Auckland Aces, on what looked like a belter of a track with plenty of runs on offer. KKR's interim captain Jacques Kallis called correctly and chose to bat first. The notable omission from their eleven was that of Lakshmipathy Balaji who gave way to an extra batsman in the form of young Sreevats Goswami. The Aces went in with a good all round side with Ronnie Hira preferred as the lone spinner while Daryll Tuffey missed out for left-arm seamer Michael Bates.


Ganga, Rampaul script entertaining Trinidad & Tobago win

Five run outs were the feature of the Ruhunu Elevens innings when they took on Trinidad & Tobago in the opening match of the 2011 edition of the Champions League T20. A useful half-century from Dinesh Chandimal helped the Sri Lankan side post a competitive 138 all out in their 20 overs. Chandimal was well supported by Janaka Gunaratne and Tillakaratne Sampath, both of who were dismissed in their 20s. Ravi Rampaul led the Trinidad attack brilliantly, finishing with 2-17 including a final over which conceded just one run and saw four wickets fall. Trinidad & Tobago were in trouble in their chase, losing both openers early to slide to 6/2, but a patient 44 from Darren Bravo and a cavalier 39 from Sherwin Ganga took them over the finish line with 7 balls to spare.

Putting runs on the board was the decision taken by Ruhunu skipper Mahela Udawatte, when he won the toss and elected to bat first. Both teams had drafted in plenty of spinners into their playing eleven to make the most of the conditions on offer in Hyderabad.


Leicestershire and Somerset join Champions League Twenty20

Leicestershire and Somerset have joined the elite Nokia Champions League Twenty20 field after winning their respective England domestic T20 semi-finals at Edgbaston. In a remarkable day of domestic T20, both semi-finals were decided by one-over eliminators.

Will Jefferson was the hero for Leicestershire in a rain-affected first semi-final, striking two fours and a six in the eliminator to overhaul Lancashire's total of 13, while in the second semi-final, Somerset edged defending champions Hampshire to qualify for CLT20.


2011 Champions League Twenty20 Match Schedule


Each team will play two qualifying matches, and the top team in each Qualifying Pool, along with the next highest ranked team (decided on Points, then Net Run Rate), will go through to the Group stage.


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