In what was expected to a high profile match, the South African champions, the Cape Cobras, were taking on the winners of the first edition of the Champions League Twenty20 in Australia’s New South Wales Blues. However, the Cobras showed they could more than hiss as they flattened the New South Wales Blues to give them plenty of blues.
The New South Wales Blues team would have had plenty to think about after their first match did not end as expected. Playing at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, in Chennai, the New South Wales Blues began well batting first at the behest of their captain, Simon Katich. However, they lost their first wicket in David Warner after scoring forty-one runs while Shane Watson failed to convert his thirty-four runs in to a more substantial score.
After their rattling start, the Cape Cobras were happy to peg the match back by some tight, slow bowling, nullifying virtually the terrific start for the New South Wales Blues. Opening the bowling with Dale Styen and Robin Peterson, the Cape Cobras captain, Justin Kemp, turned to Vernon Philander and Charl Langeveldt thereafter and continued to reap the benefit of wicket taking bowlers. Kemp himself bowled, picking up a wicket off the first ball, that of his counterpart, Katich. The New South Wales Blues team struggled to push on, eventually having to settle for an underpar score of 135.
The New South Wales Blues score was made to appear even more paltry in front of the opening batting duet of Richard Levi and Herschelle Gibbs. While Levi is establishing his reputation internationally via the Champions League Twenty20 2011, Hercshelle Gibbs is a proven performer at the international stage even though he has not found favour with the South African cricket team.
With the kind of start, the duo provided, it became fairly obvious that New South Wales even with Brett Lee and the dangerous looking young fast bowler, Patrick Cummins, would struggle to contain them. Levi was perhaps a tad more impressive simply because little was known about him before the tournament itself and the manner in which he took the assault to the New South Wales Blues, it was just the kind of excitement that ignites Twenty20 matches. Levi’s forty-three runs from twenty-seven balls was though quickly overtaken by Gibbs who took a liking to the NSW Blues bowlers, spanking the ball in typical Gibbs fashion to all parts of the park, virtually ending the contest of who was the winner of the contest. Gibb’s fifty-five were vintage. With JP Duminy and Justin Ontong providing the finishing flourish, the Cape Cobras won the match comfortably with sixteen balls to spare and seven wickets still in hand to end a comprehensive contest in their favour.
That makes two out of two for both the South African cricket teams in the tournament to score their first wins respectively in the tournament with the New South Wales Blues learning they will have to do a lot more if they are to recapture their success of 2009.