Eagles win thriller, advances to Super Eights
The Diamond Eagles defeated the Sussex Sharks in a pulsating Super Over contest and joined New South Wales from Group B in the Super Eight stage of the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament.
Riding on a six from Rilee Rossouw, Eagles scored nine runs in their Super Over and then Cornelius de Villiers bagged back-to-back wickets to seal the nail-bitting victory for the South African side.
de Villers went through the defence of both Dwayne Smith and Rory Hamilton-Brown in the first two deliveries of the Super Over to ensure the win and also reserved for his side a berth in the next league stage of the USD six million event.
Earlier, pace duo of de Villiers and Dillion du Preez scalped two wickets each as Diamond Eagles restricted Sussex Sharks to a modest 119 for seven wickets.
Luke Wright (19 off 12 balls) played a cameo upfront, while Edmund Joyce (21) and Joe Gatting (25) contributed in the middle to set the run-a-ball target on a tricky Ferozeshah Kotla wicket.
de Villiers and du Preez were the early destroyers for Eagles, picking two wickets each giving away 20 and 23 runs respectively.
Chasing the run-a-ball target, Rossouw made a flamboyant 65 that came off 62 balls to give Sussex an upper hand in the contest.
But some fine bowling display by Piyush Chawla (2/17), Michael Yardy and Hamilton-Brown (2/15) in the middle overs completely changed the complexion of the match.
Left-handed opener Rossouw went for kill from the very first over. He was merciless in his approach and hammered the Sussex bowlers to all parts of the ground and took Eagles to 47 for no loss at the end of the powerplay.
Rossouw was particularly severe on James Kirtley and Yasir Arafat as he treated both the bowlers with disdain. He first clobbered Kirltey for a huge hit over mid-wicket boundary and then followed it up with a four and a six off Arafat.
Chawla also took the brunt of Rossouw's aggression as the latter welcomed the leg-spinner with a first-ball boundary and then rotated the strike with to bring up his half-century in just 37 balls.
With the 20-year-old Rossouw in ominous mood, Adrian McLaren (16) was left as a mere spectator. The duo shared 72 runs for the opening stand before McLaren was given leg-before off Chawla.
The English side's cause was also helped by the two quick dismissals of Morne van Wyk and skipper Boeta Dipenaar. Needing 17 of the last two overs, Eagles received severe blow when Rossouw mishit a Hamilton-Brown delivery and gave a skier to wicket-keeper Andy Hodd.
With 12 required of six balls, Yardy gave the ball to Arafat as Ryan McLaren hit a fours to drag the match into the Eliminator.