Cobras win as Indian teams go out

Champions League, Bangalore: Cape Cobras 129-2 (16 overs) beat Victoria 125-5 (17 overs) by eight wickets
Bangalore Royal Challengers 139-2 (15.1 overs) beat Delhi Daredevils 138-6 (20 overs) by eight wickets

Cape Cobras eased past Victoria in the Champions League – but both sides qualified for the semi-finals after Bangalore beat Delhi in the later game.

The Cobras game was reduced to 17 overs after the start was delayed when a suspicious bag was found at the ground.

When play did start, Monde Zondeki struck twice in the first over to leave Victoria reeling at 0-2, but steady progress saw them recover to 125-5.

But Henry Davids smashed 69 not out to see the Cobras home by eight wickets.

That result eliminated Bangalore from semi-final contention – but the Royal Challengers bounced back to overcome Delhi Daredevils, also by eight wickets, to knock their Indian rivals out of the competition.

It means none of the three star-studded Indian Premier League teams will be playing in the semi-finals.

The security alert – which saw an Under-22 cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir arrested, questioned by police and released without charge – delayed the start of the opening game by nearly two hours.

When the players eventually arrived from their hotel it was Victoria who were caught cold as Rob Quiney was caught at fine leg off the first ball of the match and Zondeki bowled Brad Hodge two balls later.

Andrew McDonald, who took 4-21 in Victoria’s last game, further pressed his all-round credentials with 29 not out but the South Africans’ target of 126 always looked well within their reach, even with Herschelle Gibbs missing from their side.

Captain Andrew Puttick pulled the first ball of the Cobras innings for four but soon fell to Peter Siddle.

However, this brought Davids to the crease – and he saw his side home, hitting seven fours and two sixes while sharing important stands with Derek Brand (29) and JP Duminy (18 not out).

Bangalore skipper Anil Kumble, celebrating his 39th birthday, asked Delhi to field first after winning the toss – and opener Virender Sehwag got the Daredevils off to a flier in his usual swashbuckling style, making 47 from 29 balls before he holed out at mid-off.

After his departure, Delhi were unable to keep up the pace, and Tillakaratne Dilshan (20) was caught and bowled attempting one of his signature “Dilscoops” over the wicketkeeper’s head, while England discard Owais Shah gave Kumble (3-20) his third wicket.

Chasing 139 to win, Bangalore’s Manish Pandey retired hurt after two overs, while Dirk Nannes removed fellow opener Robin Uthappa cheaply.

But Indian veteran Rahul Dravid (32 not out) and big-hitting New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor (65) – who was dropped twice – took the game away from Delhi with a stand of 93 in just under 10 overs.

Taylor, who hit six fours and four huge sixes, was eventually bowled attempting another big hit at Nannes, but Virat Kohli smashed four fours from one Amit Mishra over to take Bangalore to the brink of victory – and former India captain Dravid brought up the win by hitting the first ball of the 16th over for six.

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