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Friday, Sep 25th

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Warner ton powers NSW Blues into CLT20 Semis, Chennai ousted

david_warner_3A spectacular, unbeaten hundred from David Warner etched with 8 maximums and 11 fours propelled New South Wales Blues into the semi-finals of the Champions League. The former champions, NSW, who dethroned the reigning champions, Chennai Super Kings by 46 runs scaled the 200 mountain and bowled effectively in the vital middle overs to also knock-out Trinidad & Tobago, who have time again scripted spirited displays. Warner's innings 135 will definitely plunge into the history books as one of the finest ever in this format of the game.

The Chennai Super Kings, who have failed to fire in unison in the CLT20 took on the New South Wales Blues, who were fresh off a stunning win against the Mumbai Indians in a high voltage knockout clash at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium. Earlier in the evening, the ever-popular Trinidad & Tobago outfit knocked out the Cape Cobras which meant that Chennai's safety net was strengthened. CSK, who required to win the match by a sizable margin to progress to the semis instigated one change with Nuwan Kulasekara replacing the injured Albie Morkel, while the Blues resorted to their winning eleven. Simon Katich, who won the toss on a slow, low pitch elected to put runs on the board. With the coveted semi final spot up for grabs, the game had all the ingredients of a thriller.


Cooper keeps Trinidad & Tobago alive as Cobras head home

Trinidad & Tobago kept their semi-final hopes alive and ended those of the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in yet another dramatic match in the Champions League T20 on Tuesday. The Caribbean champions won by two wickets with two balls to spare, chasing down the Cobras total of 137/4. The Cobras finish with three points which is not enough to qualify for the knock-out phase. Trinidad has four points which could be enough to qualify depending on the outcome of the final Group A match between the New South Wales Blues and the Chennai Super Kings.

Cobras looked as though they had the game well under control when the required rate for their opponents soared to 12 runs an over but for the second match in a row the victors had the man for the moment in Kevon Cooper who hit an unbeaten 25 off 11 balls with a six and two fours. He really clinched the game in the 19th over from Dale Steyn that cost 15 runs, leaving the winners to get a very gettable nine runs off the last over.


Gayle goes berserk as Royal Challengers thump Somerset by 51 runs

rcb_celebrateThe Royal Challengers Bangalore dished out Somerset's first defeat of the tournament as Chris Gayle's 46 ball 86 blasted the Men in Red to a comprehensive victory by a margin of 51 runs. Somerset who dropped both Dilshan and Gayle early on paid the penalty as the Royal Challengers became the first team to breach the 200 run barrier this season. Later in the evening, the Sabres batsmen were suffocated by the Royal Challengers' bowling led brilliantly by skipper Dan Vettori. Somerset could muster only 155 runs in reply as none of their batsmen kicked on and made a big score with the exception of Peter Trego.

The battered and bruised Royal Challengers Bangalore, who started the day at the bottom of the heap were up against the cunning and unbeaten Somerset Sabres in a vital Group-B encounter at the M.Chinnaswamy stadium amidst dreary weather conditions. While, Somerset were looking to cement their spot in the last four with a victory, RCB were in desperate need of massive wins in their remaining two games of to keep their semi-finals hopes alive. Unfortunately, Somerset's previous mission was washed out at the same venue a couple of days ago. The return of England international stars - Craig Kieswetter and Jos Butler had reinforced Somerset's batting. RCB were asked to bat first by Somerset skipper Alfonso Thomas on a sporting wicket with a bit of moisture around. The Royal Challengers made one change for this game with Arun Karthick coming in for Mohammad Kaif.


Trinidad & Tobago stun struggling Chennai Super Kings

Accuracy with the ball, agility in the field and positivity with the bat helped Trinidad and Tobago to tame the Chennai Super Kings in their own den in front of a boisterous home crowd.  Trinidad and Tobago's batting peaked in the end overs to post a testing total of 123 courtesy a power-packed unbeaten 28 from 10 balls from Kevon Cooper. Sunil Narine's 3-8 stood out as the T&T bowlers choked the Chennai batsmen to fashion their first triumph in the main draw of the Champions League.

The reigning champions, the Chennai Super Kings were pitted against the Caribbean Kings - Trinidad and Tobago, who were yet to open their account in the main-draw of the Champions league. CSK stuck to their winning eleven while T&T made one change, with hard-hitting opener William Perkins coming in for Jason Mohammed. The visiting captain, won the toss and decided to bat first on a slow, tricky pitch at the M.A.Chidambaram stadium in this vital Group A encounter. With the stakes high and semi-final places at a premium it was indeed a make or break game for both teams.


NSW Blues beat Mumbai by 5 wickets in low scoring encounter

steve_smithIn another low scoring contest, New South Wales got the better of the Mumbai Indians by 5 wickets to throw Group A wide open once again. On a two paced wicket in Chennai, the NSW seamers did a great job to restrict the flamboyant Mumbai line up to just 100/7 in their 20 overs. Stuart Clark (2/15) and Mitchell Starc(1/28) wreaked havoc early in the Mumbai innings before James Franklin (42*) along with useful contributions from R Satish (14) and Harbhajan Singh (15) took Mumbai to the three figure mark. In reply, NSW were off to a disastrous start, losing half the side for just 28 runs. Young Assam pacer Abu Nechim Ahmed with an opening spell of 3/13 was the wrecker in chief. But Steven Smith(45*) and Ben Rohrer(26*) played sensibly under pressure and stitched together an unbeaten partnership of 73 to take the Blues past the finish line, with three overs to spare.

After their last game against Cape Cobras in Bangalore was washed out, Group A table toppers Mumbai Indians squared up against New South Wales on a hot and sultry afternoon at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. While Mumbai needed a win to comfirm their place in the semis, for NSW it was a do or die game. Mumbai skipper Harbhajan Singh won the toss and on a slow pitch promptly elected to bat first. Both teams were unchanged from their previous encounter.


Kolkata down Warriors by 22 runs as rain plays spoilsport

The Kolkata Knight Riders kept their slender hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the Champions League alive with a 22-run victory over the Chevrolet Warriors in a rain interrupted Group B encounter at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. The Warriors, put in to bat, failed to make the most of an excellent start and wickets in hand as they stuttered to a par score of 155/4 in their 20 overs. Kolkata in response rocketed to 83/1 in 9 overs and were well on course to victory when rain prevented any further play from taking place. The Knight Riders were miles ahead of the D-L par score and picked up their second win of the Group Stages to go second in the table with 4 points.

Rain had washed out the first match of the day in Bangalore, and it came as no surprise that Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir opted to chase on winning the toss in event of the weather playing havoc with this game. The ground staff had done a remarkable job of getting the ground dry so that a match was possible, but a damp outfield meant that the ball was expected to come on to the bat quite easily and the spinners would have a rather tough time gripping it. There was a surprise in the Kolkata line-up with Brad Haddin missing from the team after having done so well in the last game, news from the dug out was that he had done in a hamstring.


Mumbai batsmen destroy venom-less Cobras, rain ruins chance of a result

rain1Rain,sadly bucketed down soon after Mumbai constructed an intimidating total of 176-5 and their match against the Cape Cobras had to be abandoned without a ball being bowled in anger in the second innings. Earlier the star-studded Mumbai Indians dented the venomous pride of the Cobras as Kanwar's 21 ball 45 and Pollard's monstrous 58 from 37 blasted the titans in blue and gold to an imposing total. Mumbai will be left rueing the inclement weather as they sniffed another triumph.

As the Champions League T20 drew closer to the business end, the Mumbai Indians took guard against the Cape Cobras on a relatively greenish wicket at Bangalore which was likely to aid the bowlers. Mumbai, who were on a roll with consecutive wins to open their campaign, drafted in Sarul Kanwar in place of opening batsman T.Suman. Meanwhile, The Cobras, went in with an unchanged team from their narrow defeat at the hands of the defending champions - Chennai Super Kings. Justin Kemp won the toss and decided to field first on a track where pundits reckoned that the team batting second would have a slight upper-hand. Despite a drizzle early on, the covers were off and the match was all poised to start in time. An intriguing contest was on the cards.


KKR rout RCB by 9 wickets to get their CLT20 campaign up and running

A clinical batting display by the Kolkata Knight Riders not only helped them thrash RCB by 9 wickets but also enabled them to remain in contention in the race for a semi-final berth in the Champions League. After dawdling through the initial and middle overs, Danny Vettori and the lower order counter-attacked to post an impressive total of 169 on the board. An excellent partnership between the Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir after Brad Haddin's early onslaught powered Kolkata to an easy win with nearly 2 and a half overs to spare.

The under-performing Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who lost their initial fixture to the Warriors, geared up for a do or die battle on a slow,turning pitch at the Chinnaswamy stadium in an all IPL Group-B clash. Bangalore, who were rattled by AB de Villiers' injury picked Sri Lankan skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan to perform the wicket keeping duties while all-rounder Raju Bhatkal came in for Mithun. Meanwhile the distorted KKR also made a couple of changes with Brad Haddin replacing Manvinder Bisla and Shami Ahmed and Jaidev Unadkat making the cut ahead of Lakshmipathy Balaji and Shakib Al Hasan. Gautam Gambhir won the toss elected to bowl first without any hesitation on a pitch where previous outcomes favoured the chasing team.


Super Bravo takes Chennai past the finish line against the Cobras

A splendid, undefeated 46 off 25 balls and an impressive 2-23 from 'Caribbean Super King' Dwayne Bravo powered Chennai to their first triumph in the 2011 edition of CLT20. Bravo soaked up the pressure after Captain Cool, Dhoni's exit to enable Chennai to loot 23 runs from their final 10 balls to steer the Super Kings to a fabulous win on a nail-biting night at Chepaulk. It was Sheer Bravado from CSK, who recovered from 77-5 to sail home by 4 wickets. Earlier, the Cobras slumped to 145-7 after making hay in the middle overs and their inability to construct sky-scrapers at the death cost them the match.

An epic clash was in the offing as the bulwarks of T20 Cricket, the Chennai Super Kings went head to head against the South African T20 champions, the Cape Cobras, in front of a frantic and vociferous crowd at the M.A.Chidambaram stadium in a crucial Group-A contest. The home team seeking to register their first win in the lucrative tournament went in with an unchanged side from their loss to Mumbai. The venomous Cobras also made no changes and stuck to their winning eleven. Former Chennai man and current Cobra skipper Justin Kemp won the toss on a wicket likely to aid the slower bowlers and expectedly decided to bat first. CSK captain Dhoni believed that the dew may lend a helping hand to his star-studded side.The 4pm game between T&T and NSW demanded a super over to determine the result owing to which this match was delayed by 10 minutes.


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