Somerset, Knight Riders qualify for main draw

HYDERABAD, India, CMC-IANS – Kolkata Knight Riders lost to Somerset by 11 runs in the last qualifying match of the Champions League Twenty20 yesterday, but both teams still qualified for the main draw.

Playing at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Knight Riders made 155 for eight in 20 overs, chasing a target of 167.

This followed a crucial 31-ball 46 from Dutch star Ryan ten Doeschate, and advanced on the basis of a better net run rate.

Ryan ten Doeschate

Opting to bat first, Somerset put on a competitive 166 for six in 20 overs thanks to a crucial 72-run stand between Peter Trego with a top score of 70 and the English county side’s South African import, Roelof van der Merwe with 40.

Trego produced a brilliant 61-ball knock smashing nine fours, while van der Merwe needed just 25 balls, coming down hard on off-spinner Yusuf Pathan, who gave away 31 runs from his allotment of four overs.

Knight Riders made a disappointing start to the chase as they lost openers Manvinder Bisla for eight and Jacques Kallis for one in the first two overs.
Leg-spinner Max Waller took two for 23 from two overs, removing Shreevats Goshwami for 14 and Manoj Tiwary for 27 to keep Kolkata behind the run-rate.

But ten Doeschate and deposed Bangladesh captain Shakib Al-Hasan, with 13, played sensibly, as the Knight Riders soon caught up with the required run rate to qualify for their maiden Champions League.

van der Merwe took a stunning catch in the 16th over on the square-leg boundary to dismiss Shakib, Doeschate and Rajat Bhatia, with 19, assured the Knight Riders book their berth for the final stage with three balls to spare.

Besides Knight Riders and Somerset, who have qualified for the third time, Caribbean champions Trinidad & Tobago is the third team that qualified for the next stage, while Leicestershire Foxes, another English county, Auckland Aces of New Zealand, and Sri Lanka’s Ruhunu Rhinos have been eliminated.

Earlier in the day, Ruhunu enhanced their chances, when they defeated Leicestershire by four runs in the final Pool-B match.

The Foxes had the 161-run target very much in sight when they needed 29 off the last five overs, but the English T20 champions could only make 156 for eight in 20 overs.

Abdul Razzaq’s 46-ball 68 went in vain, as Leicestershire bowed out of the tournament.

Off-spinner Janaka Gunaratne took three for 27 from his four overs, and Alankara Asanka Silva pouched three for 29 from four overs, leading to Leicestershire’s downfall and gave the Sri Lankan outfit their only win of the tournament.

Dinesh Chandimal scored an unbeaten 62 off 51 balls in Ruhunu’s 160 for six and was named the Man-of-the-Match.

The main draw of the competition opens on Friday, when Indian Premier League runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore face the Highveld Warriors of South Africa at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

T&T open the main draw next Monday, when they meet Mumbai Indians, including T&T and West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard, at the same venue.

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