HYDERABAD, India, CMC – West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards was banned for bowling after sending down two waist-high full tosses as Alfonso Thomas produced a superb all-round performance to propel Somerset to a nerve-wracking last-ball win over Deccan Chargers yesterday.
With scores tied at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Thomas smashed the final ball of the match over point for four to seal a one-wicket victory, in perhaps the most exciting game of the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League.
Chasing down Deccan Chargers’ modest 153 for nine off their 20 overs, Somerset seemed out of it at 99 for seven in the 14th over before Thomas slammed a sensible, unbeaten 30 to create a huge upset in Group A.
He shared a crucial 50-run, eighth wicket stand off 32 balls with James Hildreth who scored 25, in a partnership that proved to be the game’s turning point.
With the duo proving troublesome, Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist recalled Edwards for a second spell but his strike bowler swung the advantage Somerset’s way with his indiscretion.
Having already bowled one waist high delivery off the first ball of the innings in a two-over spell that cost 21 runs, Edwards’ first delivery was another high full toss down the leg-side to Hildreth, prompting umpires to disqualify him from continuing.
Thomas, who struck four fours and a six off 17 balls, continued merrily in Edwards’ absence scoring freely from the gentle Scott Styris and Andrew Symonds.
But with five runs needed off the last over, Hildreth was bowled off the first ball from Styris, after striking a four and a six off 24 deliveries.
New batsman Max Waller then failed to score off the next ball before skying the third for Styris to take the return catch and leave Somerset with five to get off three balls with nine wickets down.
Having crossed while the catch was taken, Thomas promptly dispatched the fourth ball through cover for four to level the scores and after surviving a dot ball, reached the boundary again off the final delivery.
Seamer RP Singh led the Chargers with three for 23 while Tirumalasetti Suman (2-15), Pragyan Ojha (2-20) and Styris (2-24), all finished with two apiece.
Earlier, Deccan Charges were given a rollicking start after being sent in, as openers VVS Laxman and Adam Gilchrist carved out 35 off 20 balls.
Laxman slammed the top score of 46 from 35 balls with seven fours while Gilchrist’s 18 came from eight balls and included two fours and one six.
Thomas, who finished with two for 25, picked up Gilchrist to spark a collapse with Deccan Chargers sliding to 88 for four in the 11th over.
Rohit Sharma (24) added 30 for the next wicket with Styris but when that partnership was broken, Deccan Chargers limped to their eventual score.
Medium pacer Ben Phillips finished with three for 31 while seamer Peter Trego chipped in with two for 19.