Somerset, KKR join T&T


Somerset out-fielded and out-bowled Kolkata Knight Riders to push them to the brink of elimination, but an ice-cool Ryan ten Doeschate hauled them alongside their opponents into the main draw of the Champions League. Kolkata needed 153 to qualify after Somerset had waltzed to an imposing 166 for six on a track that kept slowing down through the day. At 57 for four in the 10th over, they seemed to have lost the final spot to Ruhuna, but ten Doeschate pulled off a special heist to ensure there will be four IPL teams in the main draw.
Earlier, Leicestershire needed to chase down 161 in 13.2 overs to ensure automatic qualification, Ruhuna needed to keep them down to 140. As it turned out, led by Abdul Razzaq, one of the cleanest straight hitters of our time, Leicestershire threatened the improbable automatic qualification, but the Ruhuna spinners kept pulling them back. Razzaq perished in one final push for the run-rate boost, and the spinners then choked the lower order to fashion a dramatic win, allowing only 28 runs in the last six overs. So Abdul Razzaq’s rapid half-century was in vain, as Leicestershire fell short by four runs in their CLT20 qualifier match. Amid all this number-crunching, it was easy to overlook important good innings on a slow track. Before Razzaq’s smashing 68 off 46 came Dinesh Chandimal’s fighting 62 off 51 to help Ruhuna recover from 17 for two and 67 for four. Ruhuna ended up the biggest losers of the day, and Kolkata celebrated jubilantly despite falling short 11 of victory, but Somerset deserved the most praise. They arrived for the qualifiers bleary-eyed and dispirited, two days after losing their fifth domestic final in two years, and without five of their first-choice players.
BRIEF SCORES: Somerset 166 for 6 (Trego 70, van der Merwe 40) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 155 for 8 (ten Doeschate 46, van der Merwe 2-23) by 11 runs. Ruhuna 160 for 6 (Chandimal 62*, Karunanayake 28, Gurney 3-33) beat Leicestershire 156 for 8 (Razzaq 68, Gunaratne 3-27, Silva 3-29) by four runs.