Kallis’s heroics ensure Royal Challengers second round berth

BANGALORE, India, CMC – All-rounder Jacques Kallis almost single-handedly undermined Otago as Royal Challengers Bangalore pulled off a convincing 80-run win to clinch their spot in the next round of the Twenty20 Champions League yesterday.

The South African smashed an unbeaten 73 to fire Royal Challengers up to 188 for two from their 20 overs before returning to shock Otago with a three-wicket burst at the top of the order to send the Kiwi side tumbling to 108 all out 13 balls left in the innings.

Entering the match desperately needing a victory after losing their first game to Cape Cobras, the two points ensured Royal Challengers progressed as the second team from Group C.

Batting first after winning the toss, Royal Challengers were given a rousing start by Kallis and Robin Uthappa who posted 75 off 59 balls for the first wicket, the first of three successive half-century partnerships.

Kallis hammered four fours and two sixes off 59 balls while Uthappa cracked 42 from 31 balls with five fours and two sixes.

When Uthappa looped a ball to cover in the 10th over, Kallis then shared 59 for the second wicket off 38 balls with Virat Kohli whose 32 required just 19 balls and included five fours.

Kohli’s demise to a catch at long-off brought no respite for Otago who came under assault from a savage 54-run stand from just 23 balls between Kallis and Ross Taylor.

The right-handed Taylor bludgeoned two fours and three sixes as he carved out a hasty 32 from just 11 balls, as Royal Challengers finished with momentum.

Faced with a tall order, Otago were stunned by Kallis who removed openers Brenton McCullum (5) and Aaron Redman (11) in the space of three balls in the fourth over, to leave the score tottering at 19 for two.

In his next over, Kallis plucked out Hamish Rutherford (14) as Otago stumbled again and there was to be no recovery as medium pacer Vinay Kumar (2-20) and leg-spinner Anil Kumble (2-20) claimed two wickets apiece, as the run chase unravelled.

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