Klinger and Harris power Redbacks into semis
Michael Klinger and Daniel Harris produced another impressive performance with the bat to guide the South Australia Redbacks to a comprehensive 8 wicket victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The victory see’s the Redbacks become the first team to qualify for the Twenty20 Champions League semi finals thanks to Klinger and Harris who shared a mammoth opening stand of 124.
Redbacks skipper, Klinger remained unbeaten having top scored for the Redbacks thanks to a wonderful innings of 69 which included 9 fours and a six.
The Redbacks had been set a victory target of just 155 after the Royal Challengers top order failed to fire despite an impressive innings from Ross Taylor who scored 46 to offer some resistant’s against a dangerous Redbacks bowling attack.
Faced with a relatively low run chase of 155 Klinger and Harris started their reply slowly as they saw off the threat of Vinay Kumar who produced a good opening spell with the new ball.
After surviving a couple of early LBW appeals the pair, who recorded a 112 run partnership against the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday started to find their feet with the openers dealing mainly in boundaries.
Dale Steyn was dispatched for three boundaries in the 4th over before Harris did the same to Dillon du Preez two overs later as the runs started to flow with ease.
Once they settled at the crease the pair looked at ease against a Royal Challengers side who were starting to get frustrated by an ever growing number of miss fields as Klinger and Harris opened the innings with a quick fire 50 from just 36 deliveries.
With the boundary now being peppered on a regular basis their hundred partnership came up 38 deliveries later thanks to Klinger who brought up his own half century with a six over midwicket.
Harris recorded his own half century an over later before the Royals Challengers finally made a break through in the 15th over to end the Redbacks mammoth opening stand after Harris (57) was run out by Virat Kohli.
The wicket brought to an end an excellent innings which saw Harris smash 7 fours and 2 sixes in an opening stand of 124 with Redbacks skipper Klinger.
Having waited in the dug out for over an hour new batsmen Graham Manou (0) came to the crease but the wicket keeper lasted just 3 deliveries before he was bowled by Kumble as the Redbacks ended the 15th 125-2.
Despite the two quick wickets Klinger and Callum Ferguson (21) kept focused to lead the Redbacks to victory with 9 balls to spare to spark wild celebrations in the teams dugout.
Having won the toss the Royals Challengers decided to bat first but with Jacques Kallis missing out because of a back injury their top order looked toothless with Manish Pandey, his replacement lasting just 5 deliveries before he was caught by Daniel Harris in the slips to give Shaun Tait his first wicket of the night.
Robin Uthappa (0) quickly followed to leave the Royals Challengers 7-2 after just two overs but Taylor once again proved why he is one of the best Twenty20 players in the world with a vital innings.
Taylor shared a vital 3rd wicket partnership of 46 with Rahul Dravid (4) before the former Indian skipper gloved a delivery from Aaron O’Brien through to wicket keeper Graham Manou to end a sub par innings which lasted 11 balls.
Taylor continued his attack dispatching Daniel Christian for a boundary through fine leg before Redbacks skipper Michael Klinger brought Tait back into the attack with the sole purpose of targeting the Kiwi.
Tait’s first delivery, a bouncer, was missed by everybody including Manou and raced away for a boundary but the Aussies responded with three length balls before Taylor thick edged his 5th delivery through to Manou.
Kohil (3) quickly followed as the Royals Challengers slumped to 76-5 but du Preez, playing in his first game of the tournament smashed 46 from just 25 balls to keep the Redbacks at bay.
The South African smashed 4 sixes and a boundary during his time at the crease to relieve the pressure on the Royals Challengers before his cameo was ended by Christian at the end of the 17th over to break up an impressive 6th wicket partnership of 58 with Cameron White.
With du Preez back in the dug out the Royal Challengers lost their final four wickets in the space of two over with Christian picking three wickets in the space of 5 balls to leave the Redbacks facing a run chase of only 155.