Wounded Blues face must win match
New South Wales Blues will have to forget the Trinidad & Tobago nightmare and get their acts together if they desire to stay live in the tournament as they take on Somerset Sabres in a must-win League A match of the inaugural Champions League on Sunday.
NSW`s campaign in the Twenty20 event were dealt with a severe blow by a little-known Trinidad batsmen Kieron Pollard as he made a sensational 18-ball 54 to not only fashion an unimaginable four-wicket win over the Australian side, but also took his team a step closer towards a semifinal spot.
The Australian side not only have to beat Somerset by a good margin, their fate will also hang on the outcome of the last League A match between Trinidad & Tobago and Diamond Eagles.
On the other hand, for Somerset the match is only of academic interest as they are already out of contention for a semifinal berth having lost to Diamond Eagles on Friday.
But the English county, who had a far from impressive outing in the event so far, would be desperate to prove a point or two by drawing curtains to their campaign on a winning note.
Interestingly, one good thing for NSW is the return to form of their explosive opening duo of Philip Hughes and David Warner.
Hughes and Warner seemed in ominous form against the Caribbean side last night, sharing 121 runs for the first wicket to set the platform for the big total.
The NSW middle-order is also pretty balanced with the likes of Moises Henriques, captain Simon Katich, Ben Rohrer up its rank.
However, what will be a major concern for Katich is the team`s bowling department, which was considered as one of the best in the tournament till their forgettable outing against Trinidad & Tobago on Friday.
The likes of Brett Lee, Doug Bollinger, Stuart Clark and Nathan Hauritz completely failed against the Caribbean side as they could manage only three wickets in the match.
Henriques` confidence as a bowler was completely shattered by Pollard as he hammered the medium pacer to all parts of the ground to take Trinidad to victory from an unimaginable position.
But Lee and company will have to pull up their socks and unleash fire from the word go against the toothless Somerset batting line-up to help NSW`s cause.
For Somerset the tournament so far has been an emotional roller-coaster as nothing went in their favour after the victory against Deccan Chargers. Their problems were further compounded when Marcus Trescothik left for home in the middle of the tournament citing stress-related illness.
Apart from skipper Justin Langer and Charl Willoughby, there are no big names in the Somerset batting as well as bowling line up. The English side mainly consists of bits and pieces county players, who lack the sting against a quality side boasting of international experience.