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Friday, October 9, 2009

CLT 20 Match 1 - CC Vs RCB

The homecoming of Royal Challengers Bangalore was an eagerly expected affair. The local outfit fired from all cylinders, posting a formidable total against Nashua Cape Cobras in the inaugural match of the Champions League Twenty20 at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Thursday.

Jean-Paul Duminy in full cry in Bangalore on Thursday. DH photo/ Srikanta Sharma RBangalore fans were watching Royal Challengers at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium for the first time in nearly 15 months. But a cool-nerved Jean-Paul Duminy spoiled their occasion with an innings brighter than a South African diamond as Cape Cobras emerged a five-wicket winner in the inaugural match of the Champions League T20 on Thursday.

Batting by choice, RCB made 180 for four in 20 overs with Robin Uthappa and Ross Taylor leading their charge with powerful fifties. Cobras, led by Duminy’s unbeaten 99, overhauled the target with two balls to spare.

Cobras needed a strong beginning to hunt down the target, and it depended a lot on the length of Herschelle Gibbs’ stay at the crease. To Cobras’ chagrin, they saw Gibbs tamely edging a Praveen Kumar delivery to Mark Boucher behind the wicket.

The early fall of Gibbs might have raised RCB’s hopes but that proved short-lived as Duminy produced an exceptional innings. Severe on spinners and pacers alike, Duminy was involved in three successive partnerships that kept Cobras above the required run-rate.

He added 48 runs off 32 balls with Henry Davids for the third wicket and then for the fourth wicket realised 41 off 26 balls in the company of Justin Ontong. But the decisive partnership came for the fifth wicket when Duminy and Ryan Canning stitched together 63 runs off a mere 37 balls.

Cobras needed nine runs from the last over, and Duminy’s flat six off R Vinay Kumar over mid-on brought them close. Rory Kleinveldt then sealed the victory with a four through covers, even as a couple of fielding errors hurt the homeside badly.

Earlier, Uthappa, who received a reprieve on 18, capitalised on his luck as he punished the visitors with a barrage of strokes, with Taylor’s fifty providing the late momentum.
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