Brave Warriors snatch victory in CLT20 opening thriller

September 24th, 2011 - 2:16 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Sept 24 (IANS) True to its form, the opening tie of the ICC’s Champions League T20 turned into a thriller with Warriors of South Africa snatching victory on the last ball of the last over from a defiant Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Friday at the Chinnaswamy stadium here.

Chasing a modest target of 173 runs, brave Warriors held their nerves till tail-ender Wayne Parnell scored the winning two runs despite skipper Johann Botha being dismissed on the third ball of the last over.

After restricting the home team to 172 for eight wickets in the stipulated 20 overs, opener Ashwell Prince and Botha took away the game from a shell-shocked RCB with a brilliant 73-run fifth wicket partnership in 39 balls (6.3 overs).

Unlike RCB, which started the innings on a disastrous note when its other opener Mayanak Agarwal was out for a duck in the first over, Warriors went on the offensive with Prince and Kelly Smuts putting up 38 runs in five overs.

Though Warriors lost wickets of Colin Ingram and Mark Boucher in quick succession at 59 after Smuts departed at 38, Botha joined Prince to frustrate RCB by hitting at will across the boundary eight times and over the fence six times during the middle overs.

Though Prince was caught by Dirk Nannes of Abhimanyu Mithun’s ball in the 19th over for 74 and Craig Thyssen in the same over, RCB’s hopes of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat were dashed as Nicky Boje and Parnell not only survived the last over, but also kept their cool to run for the winning two runs of the last ball.

For RCB, skipper Daniel Vettori, Arvind and Mithun shared two wickets each but failed to prevent valiant Warriors from taking away two points in the first match of the tournament.

Earlier, opting to field after winning the toss, Warriors gave a scare to an upbeat RCB by packing off big-hitter Chris Gayle and in-form Virat Kohli in the fourth and 11th over after they scored 23 and 34 runs respectively.

A.B. de Villiers (31) and Saurabh Tiwary (28), however, steered the innings past 100 in the 12th over with sensible batting in the face of defiant bowling and tight fielding by the Warriors under their spirited skipper Botha.

After middle order Mohammed Kaif (26) and Vettori (8) carried the modest score beyond 160, their quick departure in the 19th over made tail-enders add another 12 runs in the last over.

Warriors’ Juan Theron was the most successful bowler with four wickets for 29 runs in three overs, while the remaining four bowlers shared one wicket each.

RCB are in the League tournament by virtue of being runners-up in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPLT20 2011).

Besides IPL’s second time winner Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders qualified to play in the Champions League for having ranked third and fourth in the IPL tournament played early this year (February-April).

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