Redbacks run into Warriors in semifinals

Undefeated Australians will have to contend with partisan crowd too

Redbacks run into Warriors  in semifinals

The Michael Klinger-led Redbacks were the only team in the tournament to win all four of their group matches, while South Africa’s Warriors won their first three matches before losing to Chennai Super Kings in a tight finish by ten runs, a victory that catapulted Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men into the first semifinal as table toppers against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

For Klinger’s men, everything has fallen in to place so far but they will have to guard against complacency before Saturday’s tough encounter because even one slip-up will usher them out of the competition.

With 213 runs at an amazing average of 71.00, Klinger is one of the most important factors of the Redbacks find themselves in the semifinals and the skipper will have to fire once again if the Australian side have to replicate the success of New South Wales, who won the inaugural edition of the league held in India last year.

With the top-order in good form, strength of their middle-order was also tested in their match against Guyana where Callum Ferguson and Cameron Borgas delivered under pressure, scoring 55 and 48 runs respectively.

Ferguson has so far notched  up two half-centuries and scored 129 runs at an average of 43 and the Redbacks would be hoping he delivers once again against the South African side.

The Redbacks would also be hoping to have Australian pace spearhead Shaun Tait back in their line-up ahead of the crucial tie after he missed the final group game against Guyana due to an elbow niggle.

Tait is the fifth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with six victims in three matches at an average of 14.33 and his presence would mean a lot for Redbacks, who can use him to stop the furious Warriors’ captain Davy Jacobs, whose bat has so far yielded 191 runs at an impressive strike rate of 141.

Thanks to the start given by Jacobs, the Warriors have got 50-plus in the first six-overs except for their last game against the IPL champions. The opening pair of Jacobs and Ashwell Prince have provided balance to the side and their veteran wicket-keeper Mark Boucher has given the much-needed support lower down the order.

Warriors bowling line-up includes South Africa Test pacemen Makhaya Ntini and Lonwabo Tsotsobe and experienced spinners Johan Botha and Nicky Boje and captain Jacobs will be expecting for another all-round performance from them to break the Redback’s formidable batting line-up. It will be all to play for in a high-voltage clash, the Warriors enjoying clear home advantage.

Raina dazzles as CSK reach 174/4

In a game reduced to 17 overs a side because of rain, Chennai Super Kings made 174/4 in their quota in the Champions League semifinal against Royal Challenbgers Bangalore on Friday.

Brief scores, I semifinal: Chennai Super Kings 174/4 (M Vijay 41, Suresh Raina 94 n.o) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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