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Blues hammers a hapless Sabres

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ROLLICKING KNOCK: Blues’ David Warner was at his belligerent best against Somerset Sabres on Sunday.
ROLLICKING KNOCK: Blues’ David Warner was at his belligerent best against Somerset Sabres on Sunday.

V.V. Subrahmanyam

Aggressive Warner carries on the good work of the bowlers

HYDERABAD: New South Wales Blues not only achieved a six-wicket victory over a hapless Somerset Sabres, but it did so with an eye on the net run-rate to avoid complications later (in qualifying for the semifinal stage), in a Super Eight match of the inaugural Champions League Twenty-20 championship here on Sunday night.

Chasing a modest 112 for victory, NSW Blues won thanks to the aggressive David Warner (40, 16 balls, 6x4, 2x6) who set the tempo with his brute power. Picking slow bowler Omari Banks for special treatment, Warner hit him into the stands over mid-on, then square-cut for two more fours in one over.

But the bowler had the last laugh when Warner hit to long-off where Jos Buttler took a good catch, running to his left, to give Somerset the first breakthrough. Though Blues lost three wickets in the eighth and ninth overs, its victory was never doubt and the Australians romped home in just 11.5 overs.

Earlier, the NSW outfit showed the desired discipline in bowling as Somerset Sabres was restricted to 111 for seven in 20 overs. To the delight of the Blues camp, the bowlers seemed to have recovered pretty well from the onslaught of Trinidad batsman Kieron Pollard the other night.

The pace attack of Brett Lee and Stuart Clark was too hot to handle. But Doug Bollinger was not as impressive as he was in the previous game against Trinidad & Tobago.

When Clark came on as the first-change bowler, he showed that he meant business straightaway by striking a double blow, dismissing opener Craig Kieswetter and captain Justin Langer. Then in the seventh over, Clark struck again sending back James Hildreth.

In the same over Warner threw down the stumps with a direct hit to run out Arul Suppiah at the bowler’s end, after the batsman pushed one to mid-off and went for a quick single.

Up against a quality attack, the English county had no Pollard in its ranks to change its fortunes. The bowling which was fast and accurate kept the runs in check. Only towards the end, Zander de Bruyn (23, 32 balls, 2x4) showed that the bowlers could have been countered with some effort.

The scores: Somerset Sabres: C. Kieswetter c Katich b Clark 13, J. Langer c Hauritz b Clark 5, A. Suppiah (run out) 8, J. Hildreth c Bollinger b Clark 6, P. Trego c Hughes b Hauritz 3, Z. de Bruyn b Henriques 23, O. Banks b Lee 15, W. Durston (not out) 20, J. Buttler (not out) 6; Extras: (lb-4, w-6, nb-2) 12; Total: (for seven wickets in 20 overs) 111.

Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-24, 3-39, 4-39, 5-44, 6-81, 7-85.

New South Wales Blues bowling: Lee 4-0-15-1, Bollinger 4-0-33-0, Clark 4-0-15-3, Henriques 3-0-20-1, Hauritz 3-0-14-1, Smith 2-0-10-0.

New South Wales Blues: D. Warner c Buttler b Banks 40, P. Hughes c Buttler b de Bruyn 18, Daniel Smith c Suppiah b de Bruyn 20, S. Katick (not out) 18, M. Henriques c Kieswetter b Willoughby 8, Steve Smith (not out) 5; Extras: (lb-1, nb-1, w-1) 3; Total: (for four wickets in 11.5 overs) 112.

Fall of wickets: 1-56, 2-78, 3-78, 4-88.

Somerset Sabres bowling: Willoughby 3-0-30-1, Thomas 3.5-1-19-0, Banks 2-0-28-1, Trego 1-0-15-0, Z. de Bruyn 2-0-19-2.

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