Blues prove to be to strong for exciting Sabres
Despite losing 4 wickets the New South Wales Blues cruised to an easy 6 wicket victory over the Somerset Sabres to guarantee a place in the Champions League semi finals.
Stuart Clark did the spadework and David Warner then set the tone of the chase as New South Wales crushed Somerset by six wickets with 8.1 overs to spare to book a semi-final berth in the Champions League on Sunday.
Clark (3/15) and his bowling colleagues first restricted Somerset to an unflattering 111/7 and Warner (40 off 16 balls) then came down hard on the English side as NSW cruised to 112 in 11.5 overs, losing four wickets and recording a thumping victory that earned them a semi-final berth.
Chasing the modest target, the Australian team was off to a flying start with Warner cracking six boundaries and two huge sixers during his brief stay as the first five overs yielded 57 runs.
NSW suffered the first loss when Warner, who started on an attacking note by hitting two fours off Charl Willoughby (1/30) in the opening over, fell to Omari Banks (1/28) in the fifth over.
Warner took 14 runs from the first three deliveries off Banks with the help of one six and two consecutive fours but the bowler retaliated soon when Warner's ambitious shot found Jos Buttler at long-off.
Medium pacer Zander de Bruyn (2/19) then removed Philip Hughes (18) and Daniel Smith (20) with successive deliveries in the ninth over to complicate matters as NSW reached 86/3.
However, skipper Simon Katich (18 off 11), who cracked four boundaries, stood there to complete the formalities.
Earlier, Katich had won the toss and elected to field and Somerset's run-rate never really soared with Clark, brilliantly supported by Brett Lee (1/15), making life difficult for them.
Clark, who extracted sharp bounce from track at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, inflicted the early blows on Somerset by removing both the openers Craig Kieswetter (13) and Justin Langer (5) in the fifth over.
Before the British could recover from the twin loss, Clark again rocked them by returning James Hildreth (6) in the seventh over, leaving Somerset struggling at 39/3.
Somerset, after suffering those early jolts, kept losing wickets at regular intervals as spinner Nathan Hauritz (1/14) and Lee also soon joined the party.
Hauritz got rid of Peter Trego (3), while Lee removed Omari Banks (15) after the batsman had dragged a rising delivery onto his stumps.
Bruyn (23) waged a solitary battle against the rampaging NSW bowlers, but just when he was looking dangerous, young pacer Moises Henriques' (1/20) incoming delivery pegged back his stumps.
It was surprising to see Wes Durston (20 not out), who had slammed a sterling fifty against Diamond Eagles to come down at number eight and the right-hander played an unbeaten 13-ball cameo to help Somerset cross the 100-mark.