South Australian Redbacks 214/2 in 20 overs (Harris 108*, Ferguson 70) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 215/8 in 20 overs (Dilshan 74, Kohli 70; Tait 5/32).
The last match of the group stages of the Champions League T20 went all the way down to the very last ball as Arun Karthik’s last ball heave over midwicket booked Royal Challengers Bangalore’s place in the semifinals while it sent the South Australian Redbacks crashing out of the tournament. The tournament organizers couldn’t have asked for a better ending to the group stages of the tournament with the team lying bottom of the table at the start of the match qualifying for the semifinals and thus keeping two Indian teams alive in the tournament.
Somerset’s victory over Warriors ensured that the winner of the final group game would go on to meet New South Wales in the first semifinal. It looked all certain to be an all Australian clash after Daniel Harris’ astounding century set Bangalore a daunting total of 215 to win. But Virat Kohli and Tillakaratne Dilshan ensured that the home team wouldn’t go down without a fight.
Defending scores had never been easy at the aptly named Chinnaswamy Stadium but Klinger decided to stick to their tried and tested method of setting the opposition a target after winning the toss. Harris took his time managing to score only six runs of his first deliveries. But a barrage of boundaries, nine in his next ten deliveries, ensured that Redbacks were off and running as he moved on to 43 of 19 deliveries. Introduction of spin led to Klinger’s downfall but that only brought in the in-form Callum Ferguson who steadied the Redbacks innings before the final onslaught.
The onslaught began in the sixteenth over when Ferguson slammed Sreenath, who had already gone for 28 runs in his first two overs, for a couple of boundaries and a six. Nannes went for 15 in the next as Harris moved on the nervous nineties. Ferguson, who had made 70 of 43 perished to Bhatkal while Harris launched him for his first six of the innings. Harris got his century with another leg side flick of Nannes as the Redbacks were inching towards 200. Dan Christian slaughtered six boundaries in the nine deliveries he faced, including five of the last over from Aravind as the medium pacer’s nightmare ended with 0/69 in four overs.
Royal Challengers’ chase strongly depended on the start they would get from Chris Gayle. But Gayle departed after scoring 25 to a fine catch from Klinger and it was left to Kohli and Dilshan to set up the chase. Kohli began his innings with a pull over midwicket and there was no looking back since! The duo put on 100 runs in 52 deliveries, including 25 off an Harris over as the required run rate began dripping. Kohli holed out to long on but by then the equation had already been reduced to a gettable 50 from the last five overs. Tait went for two sixes in the 17th over but he also got rid of Tiwary in the process. Agarwal came, hit a six and perished in the blink of an eye while a six from Vettori ensured Bangalore stayed within striking distance with two overs remaining.
Shaun Tait then bowled, what was supposed to be a match winning over, as he dismissed Dilshan, Vettori and Bhatkal and gave only four runs in the process thus leaving RCB to get 14 of the last over. After the first two balls from Christian gave only one run, Aravind restored some lost pride with a boundary and a two of the next two. A stolen bye meant the Royal Challengers were left needing six to win of the last ball.
Dan Christian gambled on the slower ball while Arun Karthik stood back in his crease and swatted it 20 rows back over midwicket.
And the rest, as they say, is history!