NSW Blues outclass Somerset; make semis

Cricket: Champions League: Clark, Warner shine as Aussie side bounces back

NSW Blues outclass Somerset; make semis


TIMBERRR:  Somerset batsman Omari Banks is bowled by NSW Blues’ Brett Lee  during a Champions League T20 match in Hyderabad on Sunday. PTI

They needed a win against Somerset CCC to avoid the entanglement of net run-rate and the Blues accomplished the task in a fine manner. After their six-wicket win over the English side, they are in the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20.

The credit for the comfortable win should largely go to the NSW bowlers, especially to pacer Stuart Clark. The 34-year old could not find a place in the Australian squad for the seven-match one-day series against India, and he showed the value of experience with a superb first spell (3-0-9-3) that practically ended all the hopes of Somerset, restricting them to 111 for seven in 20 overs.

After they were put into bat, the English outfit never found any sort of rhythm as its openers Justin Langer and Craig Keiswetter struggled against Brett Lee and left-arm paceman Doug Bollinger. Langer was all at sea against Lee and his partner. The introduction of Clark pushed them into deeper peril as the lanky pacer took three wickets without giving away much to reduce Somerset to 39 for four.

Clark never attempted to match Lee or Bollinger for pace, but stuck to his strength — a good line and subtle variations and the theory fetched a good amount of success for him on the day. With a major share of their batting line-up returning to the hut for just over 50 on the board, Somerset did not stand much chance.

The lone point of interest remaining in the match was whether Somerset would be able to stretch the Blues or not. That hope also went up in smoke once David Warner and Phillip Hughes added 56 runs for the opening wicket alliance in the blink of an eye.

Warner, who had made a furious fifty against Trinidad two days ago, looked poised for another screamer, toying with the Somerset bowlers en route to a sixteen ball 40. His shots down the ground, laced with immense power, were a treat to watch. The dismissal of Warner saw a New South Wales losing three wickets cheaply, with medium pacer Zander de Bruyn accounting for Hughes and Daniel Smith. But Somerset did not have a total to apply further pressure on the Blues.

SCORE BOARD

SOMERSET CCC: Craig Kieswetter c Katich b Clark 13  (19b, 2x4); Justin Langer c Haurtiz b Clark 5 (11b, 1x4); Arul Suppiah (run out) 8 (8b, 1x4); James Hildreth c Bollinger b Clark 6 (8b, 1x4); Peter Trego c Hughes b Hauritz 3 (7b); Zander de Bruyn b Henriques 23 (32b, 2x4); Omari Banks b Lee 15 (18b, 1x4); Wesley Durston (not out) 20 (13b, 2x4, 1x6); Jos Butler (not out) 6 (8b); Extras (LB-4, NB-2, W-6) 12; Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 111

Fall of wickets: 1-24 (Keiswetter), 2-24 (Langer), 3-39 (Hildreth), 4-39 (Suppiah), 5-44 (Trego), 6-81 (Banks), 7-85 (Bruyn).

Bowling: Brett Lee 4-0-15-1 (w-2), Doug Bollinger 4-0-33-0 (w-4, nb-2), Stuart Clark 4-0-15-3, Moises Henriques 3-0-20-1, Nathan Haurtiz 3-0-14-1, Steven Smith 2-0-10-0.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6: 36/2.

NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES: David Warner c Buttler b Banks 40 (16b, 6x4, 2x6); Phillip Hughes c Durston b De Bruyn 18 (22b, 3x4), Daniel Smith c Suppiah b De Bruyn 20 (12b, 4x4); Simon Katich (not out) 18 (11b, 4x4); Moises Henriques c Kieswetter b Willoughby 8 (5b, 2x4); Steve Smith (not out) 5 (6b); Extras (LB-1, NB-1, W-1) 3; Total (for 4 wkts, 11.5 overs) 112.

Fall of wickets: 1-56 (Warner), 2-78 (Hughes), 3-78 (Daniel Smith), 4-88 (Henriques).
Bowling: Charl Willoughby 3-0-30-1 (w-1), Alfonso Thomas 3.5-1-19-0, Omari Banks 2-0-28-1, Peter Trego 1-0-15-0, Zander de Bruyn 2-0-19-2 (nb-1).
Runs during Power Play: 1-6: 57/1.

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