|Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad
|Eagles v Somerset
|MN van Wyk, CJD de Villiers, WJ Durston
|Champions League 2009/10
Diamond Eagles won without much drama this time as they completed a comprehensive victory over the English county side Somerset. A clinical bowling performance was backed up by sensational fielding display and later with sensible batting performance sealed an easy win for the Eagles. Somerset's bowling lacked the cutting edge but the batting went awry at the start and the end.
Earlier after winning the toss and batting first Somerset could not do well on a track which has been the only one to remain a good batting surface till now in the tournament. Marcus Trescothick's sudden return to England though did turn out to be good for the Sabres as his departure brought in Wes Durston who rescued Somerset after they had slumped to 52 for 5 in nine overs. They finally finished with 132, a total they would have been relatively happy after the position they were in at one stage.
Craig Kieswetter was the one who opened because of Trescothick's absence but after two non-comfortable boundaries CJ de Villiers trapped Kieswetter right in front and after a wide Arul Suppiah was done in by a similar delivery.
Zander de Bruyn was the next casulaty as he swatted an ugly heave straight to mid-off to gift de Villiers his third victim of the day. The last over of the powerplay brought three boundaries but any semblence of a recovery was shattered when Tshabalala came on and skipper Justin Langer yorked himself going down the wicket. Wickets continued to tumble as Peter Trego was stunningly held by Alan Kruger in his first over.
Five down Somerset looked down and out when Durston stepped in. He started with singles and then came the time when he started the run feast. His first victim was Ryan McLaren as he hit the right-arm seamer for three boundariesin a row during the 15th over and repeated it when de Villiers returned for the 17th.
He reached his fifty in 26 balls and hit another boundary the next ball. On the other end James Hildreth kept dabbing and touching for singles in the third-men region as he scored a sedate 31 off 40 deliveries. Durston though looked very attractive to the eyes. When the fast bowlers gave him even a bit of room he steered the ball fine and when it was full pitched, he drove with utmost power.
De Villiers the guy who started the wicket fall again struck after bowling the most expensive over of the innings. Aided by McLaren's tumbling catch to dismiss Durston, he finished with 4 for 17. The last two overs went for just three runs and all the damage done by Durston was kind of negated via this spectacular effort in the end.
Diamond Eagles in reply were off to a solid start as Rossouw once again came good for the South African side with some aggressive shots. Willoughby was canned for 12 runs in the second over off the innings but the bowler struck back when he removed the southpaw in the same over. Morne van Wyk and AP McLaren continued to pile pressure on the county side with some aggressive shots but Willoughby played the party-pooper once again when he dismissed McLaren with a short one to pull back Eagles from getting off.
Skipper Dippenaar joined van Wyk in the middle and two began to settle the frayed nerves for the Eagles with some sensible batting. The pair added 31 runs to stabilize the innings and made sure that they did not lose their way and head unlike in the contest against Sussex Sharks. The pair did not resort to any violence but simply pushed the ball into the empty gap to keep the scoreboard moving.
They found the boundaries to keep abreast with the creeping run-rate. Dippenaar finally fell when he tried to loft Waller into the stands but could only give an easy catch to Durston at long-off.
Van Wyk continued to stand firm as he slowly but steadily took his side closer to win. A short ball from Thomas ended his innings when he tried to pull him around the corner which he lobbed to short fine leg where keeper Kieswetter took a diving catch. With just six runs to win in three overs Langer brought his field in and for some time delayed the winning run for the Eagles. Thomas accounted for the wicket off Bailey but a leg bye off the next ball sealed a comprehensive win for the side from South Africa.