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Rediff.com  » Cricket » CL T20: Keen battle on cards as RCB face NSW Blues

CL T20: Keen battle on cards as RCB face NSW Blues

October 06, 2011 17:33 IST

Just who will reap the rich harvest for the all the hard labour put in, will be unravelled on Friday when a charged-up Royal Challengers Bangalore take on New South Wales Blues in the first semi-final of the Champions League Twenty20 here at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.

The Royal Challengers are on a high after sensational back-to-back victories. They showed how competitive they can be to distance themselves from their rivals. 

After a stunning last-ball win over South Australia Redbacks on Thursday night, RCB will run into another strong Australian opponents and Group A toppers New South Wales in what could turn out to be a cracker of a contest. 

Chris GayleHaving languished at the bottom of the table till the fag end of the league, Daniel Vettori's men transformed themselves from a beleaguered outfit to fierce fighters, posting tournament high totals in successive matches. They set Somerset a highest target of 206 and then rewrote their own record yesterday, chasing a tournament-high 215 against the Redbacks. 

RCB's batting will revolve around Chris Gayle. The Jamaican has been amongst the runs, providing breezy starts. He took Bangalore by storm with a 46-ball 86 against Somerset and another powerful show by him can carry RCB into the final. 

Asserting Gayle's importance in the side, Virat Kohli said, "Gayle is a wonderful impact player for us. I always have believed since IPL that if he doesn't get the runs we would struggle. If he doesn't fire, I have to step up and Tillakaratne Dilshan has to take the mantle." 

RCB's Sri Lankan import, Dilshan sizzled against the Redbacks, silencing his critics with a well crafted 47-ball 76 that helped RCB pull off a stunning win. 

Kohli, who has turned out to be Mr Dependable for RCB, will keen to continue with his run-scoring spree. Further down, RCB can rely on Mayank Agarwal, Saurabh Tiwary, Daniel Vettori and wicketkeeper-batsman KB Arun Karthik, who sealed the last-four berth with a towering last-ball six.

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