Sunday, October 18, 2009

Clark helps Blues book semis spot

Somerset's Airtel CL T20 campaign came to an abrupt end as they suffered a convincing six-wicket defeat at the hands of New South Wales in Hyderabad.

A ferocious batting display from Blues opener David Warner, who hit 40 from just 16 balls, helped the Australian state side ease past Somerset's uncompetitive 111 for seven with 49 balls to spare.

After being asked to bat first Somerset's innings was wrecked by three Stuart Clark wickets and they had plummeted further until Zander de Bruyn (23) and Wes Durston's unbeaten 20 helped the county side at least pass the 100-run mark.

Warner then put the Somerset bowlers to the sword, smashing six fours and two sixes during his brief but entertaining innings, and ensure the Blues' place in the semi finals.

Somerset's batting frailties again came to the fore as they suffered another top-order collapse.

Clark, who took over after two tidy overs from Brett Lee with the new ball, removed Craig Kieswetter (13) and departing skipper Justin Langer (five) - who had announced before the Champions League that it would be his swansong with the Sabres - in his first over.

Clark struck again to remove James Hildreth (six), who promised much with an attractive boundary to get off the mark, in his second over.

Arul Suppiah (eight) was then run out and Peter Trego (three) perished while attempting to heave Nathan Hauritz across the line to leave Somerset reeling at 44 for five inside 10 overs.

De Bruyn and Omari Banks (15) briefly arrested the fall of wickets with a 37-run stand for the sixth wicket but both batsmen were dismissed in the space of an over and Somerset were in real danger of failing to cross the three-figure mark.

Durston, who top-scored with a career-best 57 in Somerset's previous game against Trinidad and Tobago, bafflingly was demoted to number eight.

Yet, he drilled two boundaries and a six, the only one of the inning, to help Somerset pass the 100-run mark.

Warner got NSW off to a rollicking start in typically belligerent fashion and dominated an opening stand with Phil Hughes worth 56 off just 28 deliveries.

Warner started with two boundaries in three balls off Charl Willoughby and was particularly harsh on Banks, clubbing the first-change bowler for four and six in his first over.

He slammed Banks for a six and two boundaries off the first three deliveries in the spinner's second over, but Banks hit back to snare the batsman caught by Jos Buttler in the deep.

NSW's line-up then wobbled with Hughes (18) and Daniel Smith (20) falling in one over from De Bruyn and Moises Henriques (eight) quickly after.

But NSW needed only 24 from 10.3 overs at that stage and captain Simon Katich chipped in with an unbeaten 18 to steer his team to victory.

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