South Australia beat RCB by eight wickets, seal semis berth
Durban: Skipper Michael Klinger and Daniel Harris produced a 124-run opening partnership to help South Australia inflict a humiliating eight-wicket defeat on Royal Challengers Bangalore and qualify for the Champions League Twenty20 semifinal, here on Friday.
South Australia first came out with a disciplined bowling display to restrict the Bangalore side to 154 in 19.5 overs on a slightly slow Kingsmead pitch and then achieved the target with nine balls to spare in the Group B encounter.
Klinger scored an unconquered 69 off 57 balls with the help of nine fours and a six, while Harris came out with a brilliant 57 off 38 balls.
South Australia scored 155 for two in 18.3 overs, with Callum Ferguson (21 off 14) giving company to Klinger.
Chasing 155 to win, both the openers started on an attacking note.
Neither Klinger nor Harris faced any problem in tackling the Bangalore bowling attack and kept sending the ball to the fence in regular intervals.
Klinger cracked a four in the second ball of the innings off medium pacer Praveen Kumar, while Harris cracked three fours in the sixth over off Dillon du Preez to add to the frustration of RCB skipper Anil Kumble.
Kumble tried out five bowlers, including himself, but all his efforts went in vain as the bowlers, including pacer Dale Steyn, proved quite ineffective and expensive on the Kingsmea pitch.
South Australia reached 50-run mark in the sixth over and then riding on the rampaging form of the two openers they crossed 100-run mark in the 12th over.
To the end of the match, the Australian side lost two quick wickets in the form of Harris, who adorned his innings with seven fours and two sixes, and Graham Manou (0).
Harris returned after a misunderstanding with his skipper while Manou feel to Kumble after facing three balls but that could not stop them from registering their third successive win in the tournament.
Earlier, Preez and Ross Taylor scored an identical 46 to help Bangalore overcome a mid-innings slump and post 154 after Kumble opted to bat.
Taylor, who cracked eight fours and a huge six during his 28-ball stay, steadied the RCB innings in middle overs while Preez capitalised on his home condition when the team was struggling at 76 for five in 10.5 overs.
Preez struck one four and four sixes during his 25-ball innings and with Cameron White (25) produced a crucial 58-run partnership to pull the team out of the pit.
RCB was folded for 154 in 19.5 overs, with Daniel Christian scalping four late wickets for 23 runs.
The Bangalore team, which missed the service of star South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, were off to a wobbly start as they lost two wickets in the first couple of overs.
Tait struck in the fifth ball of the match by removing Manish Pandey (4) cheaply.
Pandey cracked a four off the fifth delivery off Tait but the fast bowler took revenge in the next ball when the batsman failed to tackle a rising delivery and Harris pouched a well-judged catch.
Medium pacer Gary Putland then inflicted the second loss by dismissing Robin Uthappa, who could not contribute anything, in the second delivery of the next over.
Uthappa chased a ball outside off stump and cracked a slightly uppish drive but Callum Ferguson dived at cover-point region to lay hand on the fence-bound ball.
Rahul Dravid (4) then got the company of New Zealander Taylor and the duo added quick 46 runs to give the RCB some recovery before Dravid fell prey to left-arm spinner Aaron O`Brien in the seventh over.
White then stepped in to pair up with Taylor and started on a cautious note.
But Tait soon scalped in-form Taylor for his second wicket after the duo had added only 16 runs. The Kiwi went after a delivery that wasn`t too wide to play a cut and got an edge straight to wicketkeeper Graham Manou who did not make any mistake.
Virat Kohli (3) then returned to the dug out in the 11th over, leaving RCB tottering at 76 for five.
However, Preez then paired up with White to give a timely recovery. But after Preez`s departure in the 17th over, when RCB was 134 for six, they lost some quick wickets and was folded for 154.
For South Australia, Tait (2/23) and Putland (2/37) bagged two wickets each.