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Little challenge to Victoria's victory march

A dominant Victoria Bushrangers put one foot in the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20 after crushing local favourites Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets in Thursday's League B encounter, reports Bivabasu Kumar. Listen to podcastaudio

india Updated: Oct 16, 2009 18:49 IST
Bivabasu Kumar

The target wasn't imposing and this time Victoria Bushrangers didn't fluff their lines batting second. Victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore came with plenty to spare.

If losing Jacques Kallis through injury dented the home team's confidence, it showed. Barring Manish Pandey's opening salvo, they looked lacklustre.

Pandey played a swashbuckling 28-ball innings of 39 hammering seven fours, most of which came against Victoria Bushrangers' quicks Shane Harwood and Peter Siddle. There were moments in his short innings which rekindled memories of his blazing IPL hundred.

Like a drive off the front foot to Harwood in the first over. The last two balls of that over were dispatched to the long-on and long-off boundaries. Even Siddle's speed and the short ball failed to intimidate him. But Robin Uthappa's wicket in the fifth over triggered a middle-order collapse.

Anil Kumble opened the bowling for Bangalore but Bushrangers's openers, Robert Quiney and Brad Hodge, played each ball on merit, cut out the frills and kept the scorecard ticking.

Even Dale Steyn, making his Champions League T20 debut, could do little to get Royal Challengers Bangalore back into the game. Steyn beat the Bushrangers batsmen with pace but there was little on the board to defend. After losing Hodge, Quiney and Aiden Blizzard, David Hussey took the Victorians past the finishing line with an unbeaten 31 with skipper Cameron White (6 not out) for company.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pandey c & b McDonald 39, Uthappa b McKay 13, Dravid lbw b McDonald 33, Kohli c Blizzard b McDonald 6, Taylor lbw b McDonald 2, Boucher c Blizzard b McKay 5, Akhil not out 18, der Merwe not out 3;

Extras (b 1, lb 6, nb 1) 8.

Total (for 6 wkts; 20 overs) 127

Fall of wickets: 1-39, 2-60, 3-76, 4-79, 5-99, 6-104;

Bowling: Harwood 4-0-28-0, Siddle 4-0-26-0, McKay 4-0-26-2, Holland 4-0-19-0, McDonald 4-0-21-4.

Victoria Bushrangers

Quiney c Dravid b Steyn 29, Hodge b Akhil 25, Blizzard st Boucher b van der Merwe 21, Hussey not out 31, White not out 6

Extras (b 4, lb 7, w 10) 21

Total (3 wickets; 15.5 overs) 133

Fall of wickets: 1-48, 2-95, 3-97

Bowling: Kumble 3.5-0-39-0, P Kumar 2-0-10-0, Steyn 4-0-33-1, Akhil 3-0-20-1, van der Merwe 3-0-20-1