HYDERABAD, India, CMC-IANS – Roelof van der Merwe’s sensational 73 off 40 balls helped Somerset pull-off a five-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Champions League T20 yesterday.
The Knight Riders posted a healthy 161 for three after captain Gautam Gambhir, returning to the side after recovering from concussion, chose to bat on a slow surface at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Somerset, who were cruising at 107 for one in the first 10 overs, made things tougher by losing three wickets in quick succession before reaching home in the final over.
Peter Trego made 28 and Nick Compton with 19 not out were the other crucial contributions in the final score of 164 for five.
The win was Somerset’s second over the Knight Riders in the tournament after they beat the Indian Premier League franchise in the qualifying stage.
van der Merwe played a gem of an innings, hitting nine fours and two sixes to lay the foundation of a difficult run chase.
The South African played a variety of strokes, but guiding a Kallis half-tracker to the fine-leg boundary was easily his stand-out shot.
van der Merwe and Trego’s wicket in the 14th over allowed the Knight Riders to get back in the match, but Compton and Arul Suppiah with 15 coped with the pressure towards the end.
Earlier, Jacques Kallis hit an unbeaten 74 and Yusuf Pathan supported with 39 not out, entertaining the crowd with some brutal hitting all around the park.
The explosive duo shared 90 off just 47 balls following an ordinary start by the Knight Riders.
Gamhir’s comeback innings lasted a ball. The southpaw was dismissed for a duck, when he miscued a Lewis Gregory delivery while trying to play it on the side and ended up spooning a catch to Alfonso Thomas at mid-off.
The highlight of the innings was Pathan hitting four mammoth sixes off spinner Suppiah in the 15th over.