Eagles fly high after Super Over win

Sussex Sharks fail to hold nerve in nail-biting finish


After the Eagles tied the score at 119 for four in the stipulated 20 overs, the Super Over had to be employed and the South Africans, who had scored nine runs from six balls losing one wicket, emerged victors when Cornelius de Villers sensationally knocked off the off-stumps of Dwayne Smith and Robert Hamilton-Brown with the first two balls.

With the rules stipulating that an innings is closed if two batsmen are dismissed in the Super Over, Sussex surrendered the match without scoring a single run.

Yasir Arafat, who had conceded 12 runs in the 20th over as the match ended in a tie, was given the responsibility of bowling the Super Over. The Pakistani paceman did a neat job of it, conceding just nine  runs as man of the match Rilee Rossouw managed just one boundary hit, a huge six. However, that effort was enough to take the South Africans to the League Phase.

With this win, the Eagles progressed to the League Phase along with Group B toppers New South Wales. Beaten in both their matches, Sussex became the first English side and the third team overall in the Champions League T20 to crash out in the group stage.

Going by the proceedings of the first match, Sussex Sharks might have thought they had put up a decent total for their bowlers to defend against Eagles when they made 119 for seven in their 20 overs.

To their dismay, however, Rossouw almost brought the Eagles to the doorstep of victory before the Proteas contrived to tie the match, eventually sneaking through in the Super Over.    

Expectedly choosing bat first, Sussex, despite the rollicking start provided by Luke Wright, stuttered through their innings in the later stages. Given the nature of the pitch, though, even 119 was going to be tricky and despite Rossouw’s beautifully crafted 65 (62b, 7x4, 2x6), Sussex, helped generously by the indiscretion of the Eagles batsmen, managed to force a tie. However, they ran out of luck when it came to the crunch.   

After failing to impress in the opening match against New South Wales, Rossouw atoned for his failure with an innings that was dotted all along with attractive strokes.

The talented left-hander, who turned 20 only five days ago, was off the blocks in a flash, taking two fours off Wright’s first over. Smith received the same treatment while James Kirtley and Arafat were dispatched over the ropes with ridiculous ease as the Eagles clobbered an impressive 47 runs in the Power Play and, more importantly, didn’t lose any wicket.

The Eagles appeared to have things well under control until pressure seemed to get the better of them. It needed a nervy Ryan McLaren to eventually snatch a tie after ten had been required off the last four deliveries when the left-hander smashed Arafat over wide mid-on for a boundary off the last ball of their innings, necessitating the first Super Over of the Champions League. What drama!

SCORE BOARD

SUSSEX SHARKS: Chris Nash c Mpitsang b du Preez 7 (10b, 1x4), Luke Wright b de Villiers 19 (12b, 1x4, 2x6), Rory Hamilton-Brown c & b de Villiers 6 (5b, 1x4), Ed Joyce (run out) 21 (33b, 1x4), Dwayne Smith b Mpitsang 9 (15b, 1x4), Michael Yardy b Bailey 12 (14b, 2x4), Joe Gatting c R McLaren b du Preez 25 (23b, 1x4, 1x6), Piyush Chawla (not out) 9 (7b, 1x4), Yasir Arafat (not out) 1 (1b). Extras (B-5, LB-4, W-1) 10. Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 119.

Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Wright), 2-29 (Nash), 3-33 (Hamilton-Brown), 4-49 (Smith), 5-73 (Yardy), 6-102 (Joyce), 7-113 (Gatting).
  
Bowling: Victor Mpitsang 4-0-20-1, Dillon du Preez 4-0-23-2 (w-1), Cornelius de Villiers 4-0-20-2, Ryan McLaren 4-0-26-0, Thandi Tshabalala 2-0-10-0, Ryan Bailey 2-0-11-1.

Runs during: Power Play: 1-6 overs: 35/3.

DIAMOND EAGLES: Rilee Rossouw c Hodd b Hamilton-Brown 65 (62b, 7x4, 1x6), Adrien McLaren lbw Chawla 16 (28b, 1x4), Morne van Wyk c Joyce b Chawla 2 (7b), Boeta Dippenaar b Hamilton-Brown 7 (7b, 1x4), Ryan McLaren (not out) 14 (13b, 2x4), Dillon du Preez (not out) 3 (3b). Extras (B-7, LB-2, W-3) 12. Total (for 4 wkts, 20 overs) 119.

Fall of wickets: 1-72 (A McLaren), 2-79 (Van Wyk), 3-93 (Dippenaar), 4- 106 (Rossouw).

Bowling: Luke Wright 1-0-8-0, Yasir Arafat 3-0-28-0 (w-1), James Kirtley 2-0-13-0 (w-1), Dwayne Smith 3-0-16-0, Michael Yardy 4-0-13-0 (w-1), Piyush Chawla 4-0-17-2, Rory Hamilton-Brown 3-0-15-2

Runs during: Power Play: 1-6 overs: 47/0.

Super Over: Diamond Eagles: 9/1 in 1 over (Rossouw 7) bt Sussex: 0/2 in 0.2 overs (Cornelius de Villiers 0/2).

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