Kolkata loses, but qualifies

A. Joseph Antony
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CRICKET / Trego declared Man-of-the-Match for his brilliant effort

STROKE-FILLED KNOCK: Peter Trego's half-century laid the foundation for Somerset's win over Kolkata Knight Riders. — Photo: K. Ramesh Babu
STROKE-FILLED KNOCK: Peter Trego's half-century laid the foundation for Somerset's win over Kolkata Knight Riders. — Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

: Somerset registered an 11-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, but both sides advanced to the main draw of the Champions League, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday. By posting two more than the required 153, KKR eased out Ruhunu in the race to the knockout stage.

For Man of the Match, Peter Trego, beauty wasn't just skin deep. The six-footer's elaborately tattooed right arm packed enough power to steer Somerset to its second successive win and help top the qualifying pool. Backed by his stroke-filled 70, which lasted the entire 20 overs, his endeavour was by far the best in the preliminary round.

Rarely tested in his 61-ball stint, the Weston-super mare native shouldered most of the batting burden to help his side pile an imposing 166 for six.

KKR opened the attack with Iqbal Abdulla, who made little impact. Brett Lee deployed the new ball better, having Chris Jones dab at a delivery to be caught behind by Manvinder Bisla. The Aussie quick was then a tad rude in welcoming van der Merwe with a snorter.

Meanwhile, non-striker Trego made the most of the placid track, plundering boundaries at will, particularly severe on the spin trio of Abdulla, Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan.

Yusuf couldn't quite recreate the magic of Monday, when he scalped two batsmen in three balls.

Van der Merwe, after the initial discomfiture, was quite at home against speed and spin. The zeal with which he went after the bowling may have proved to be his undoing though.

Foxed by Jaidev Unadkat's slower one, the South African slammed it hard nonetheless. Compatriot Jacques Kallis at mid-on clasped the overhead offering, revealing even more age-defying athleticism, soaring full-stretch to stop the ball racing to the cover boundary.

Unadkat impresses

Unadkat was a tyro transformed. He was hostile to say the least, letting it rip from both ends and accounting not only for van der Merwe, but James Hildreth as well.

Compton scornfully scooped Lee for a six, riling the tearaway quick even more by attempting a reverse sweep off a yorker.

In KKR's reply, Bisla showed glimpses of his blistering form, patting Alfonso Thomas over the cover boundary hoardings, with the innings just four balls old.

Backing up too far to a Kallis cut, Bisla was caught hopelessly out of bounds with Murali Kartik needing only to nudge the bails off a Jones throw.

The KKR captain departed soon after, spooning a simple catch to Hildreth at mid-on off a short one from Kartik.

Shreevats Goswami lofted Max Waller straight to Compton.

Just the ball before, the same fielder at long-off, leapt to his left to latch on to a stiff chance from Manoj Tiwary, but fluffed it. Another fine fielding display later on was witnessed when van der Merwe dived in the deep to effect the dismissal of Shakib Al Hasan.

The scores:

Somerset: C. Jones c Bisla b Lee 14 (10b, 2x4), P. Trego (run out) 70 (61b, 9x4), R. van der Merwe c Kallis b Unadkat 40 (25b, 4x4, 1x6), J. Hildreth c Shakib b Unadkat 13 (12b, 2x4), N. Compton (run out) 20 (10b, 2x4, 1x6), S. Snell c Tiwary b Lee 4 (2b, 1x4), A. Suppiah (not out) 0 (1b); Extras (lb-2, w-2, nb-1): 5; Total (for six wkts. in 20 overs): 166.

Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-99, 3-125, 4-158, 5-164, 6-166.

Kolkata Knight Riders bowling: Abdulla 3-0-29-0, Lee 4-0-34-2, Shakib 3-0-20-0, Yusuf 3-0-31-0, Bhatia 1-0-9-0, Unadkat 4-0-31-2, Kallis 2-0-10-0.

Kolkata Knight Riders: M. Bisla (run out) 8 (6b, 1x6), J. Kallis c Hildreth b Kartik 1 (4b), S. Goswami c Compton b Waller 14 (18b), M. Tiwary b Waller 27 (23b, 5x4), Yusuf c Gregory b Suppiah 12 (13b, 1x4), R. ten Doeschate b van der Merwe 46 (31b, 1x4, 3x6), Shakib c van der Merwe b Trego 13 (9b, 1x4, 1x6), R. Bhatia c Thomas b van der Merwe 19 (14b, 1x4), B. Lee (not out) 2 (2b), I. Abdulla (not out) 1 (1b); Extras (b-4, w-7, nb-1): 12; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 155.

Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-10, 3-48, 4-57, 5-97, 6-120, 7-150, 8-153.

Somerset bowling: Thomas 4-0-32-0, Kartik 4-0-20-1, van der Merwe 4-0-23-2, Waller 2-0-23-2, Gregory 1-0-9-0, Trego 3-0-25-1, Suppiah 2-0-19-1 .

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