Kumble looks forward to semi-final

Anil Kumble was always confident that his Royal Challengers Bangalore team would reach the semi-finals of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 22 Sep 2010, 11:42 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:03 AM

Now that they are in the last four he is looking forward to the next challenge, which will come in Durban on Friday night.

Bangalore, runners-up in Group B, could meet either South Africa’s Warriors or fellow Indian Premier League team Chennai Super Kings, who meet in a Group A decider in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

“I’m very happy that we reached the semi-finals,” said Kumble. “It’s nice to go back to Durban.”

Who would he prefer to play against?

“It doesn’t matter, it’ll be nice to meet anyone . . . but I hope Chennai gets there.”

If Chennai do finish ahead of the Warriors, it would mean two IPL sides playing against each for a place in the final, which would be two more IPL teams than reached the same stage in the first Champions League, played in India last year.

Bangalore had some anxious moments before getting past the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Lions, playing at their home ground, made a flying start, reaching 57 for two after the six Powerplay overs. But Kumble bowled superbly, conceding only 13 runs in four overs and taking the key wicket of rival captain Alviro Petersen, who made an elegant 45.

The runs dried up for the Lions, who finished on 159 for six, probably 20 runs too few on a good batting pitch.

Although Bangalore also struggled in the middle overs, Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 49 off 29 balls took the Challengers to a six-wicket win with six balls to spare.

It was especially satisfying for Kohli, who was dismissed off the last ball for a thrilling 47 when Bangalore went down by two runs against the Mumbai Indians in their previous match, in Durban on Sunday.

“I was really happy to be there at the end,” said Kohli after his man of the match effort on Tuesday. He hit two sixes and a four off successive balls from Ethan O’Reilly in the 17th over, which yielded 19 crucial runs.

Bangalore and the Lions were playing for second place in the group after the South Australian Redbacks completed the group phase unbeaten after a 15-run win over Guyana in the early game of Tuesday’s double- header at the Wanderers. Guyana lost all their matches.

The Redbacks win meant they qualified to play the runners-up in Group A in the second semi-final at Centurion on Saturday - and enabled them to stay at their Johannesburg base for the rest of the tournament with Centurion a short coach ride away.

The winners of the Warriors-Chennai match on Wednesday will finish top of Group A. If the Warriors win it will mean Chennai will be eliminated as they need two points to draw level with Australia’s Victoria Bushrangers.

But if Chennai win they will be top on run rate, with run rate deciding whether the Warriors or Victoria go through in second place.

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