Lions v Bangalore, CLT20 2010, Johannesburg September 21, 2010

Fearless Bangalore march on


In some hearts, desperation is the engine that does not know how to die. In others, it is the knife that stabs deep and deadly. That's the double trouble with desperation, and it ripped both ways at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

A place in the semi-finals of the Champions League T20 was at stake, and either the Highveld Lions or the Royal Challengers Bangalore would grab hold of it.

On the night, Bangalore's heart held firm like it hadn't done before in this tournament. "Once we restricted them to that 159 for six, and once we got a solid foundation on the board in reply I knew we could do it," said their captain, Anil Kumble.

Batting at number three, Virat Kohli decided the issue with a feisty 49 not out off 29 balls. "I was waiting for one big over, and that was the 17th," Kohli said. "It was very satisfying."

That over, which was bowled by Ethan O'Reilly, went for 19 runs and took Bangalore to within 24 runs of victory. Kohli made light of a shot he called the "short flick", a snappy dab to the off side that earned a significant share of his runs.

"No, I haven't worked hard on it," he said. "It just comes naturally; I don't know how."

The Lions' heart, alas for them and their fans, who had just begun to believe in them again after years of disappointment, failed.

"We want to leave a legacy of champions," said their visibly downcast skipper, Alviro Petersen. "Hopefully we've won the hearts of other fans who weren't Lions supporters to begin with."

Glum or not, Peterson was proud of his team, who came into the event as no-hopers and shocked the Mumbai Indians in the opening match before going on to beat Guyana.

"We fought all the way," he said. "We went in with a mindset of disbelief, but it wasn't good enough. The better team won.

"We've given everything in this tournament; we've left nothing on the field. We've come up against phenomenal opposition, and it never really bothered us."

Bangalore's reward is a trip back to Kingsmead in Durban for their semi-final.

The fact that this venue was the scene of both of their defeats in the CLT20, at the hands of the South Australia Redbacks and the Mumbai Indians, didn't seem to bother Kumble. "I don't think we need to look at Durban as two losses," he said. "There were a lot of positives to take out of the game against Mumbai.

It was a case of just a few runs and we would have won that game." The night wouldn't have been complete if someone didn't ask if Kevin Pietersen, who is due to return to his native South Africa soon to play two SuperSport Series matches for the Dolphins next month, would replace the injured Jacques Kallis in the Bangalore squad.

"It's a bit tough to say now," Kumble said. "We have to go back and figure out who we can get."

And did he care who his team came up against in the semis?

"No. It doesn't matter."

If Kumble's heart was beating any faster as he tossed those words into the mix carelessly, no one knew.

Telford Vice is a freelance cricket writer in South Africa

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Allan on September 22, 2010, 23:53 GMT

    @bc74 - Make that 2 IPL teams qualifying. And yes, it is a vindication of the IPL. CLT20 has only been played for 2 years inclusive of this one, and IPL for 3 years. Many of the provincial sides have played as a team for much longer. So for IPL teams to come together and perform so well after such a short period is remarkable. The fact that they have qualified is a testament to each and every player on those teams. And regarding last year's CLT20, it was the 1st version and it was played in India. So based on your "flat track logic" all IPL teams should have qualified! Nay my friend, it's not about flat-tracks but about teams gelling and true quality. That's what determines success in T20.

  • Senthil on September 22, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    Well played RCB! Kohli, my man! Where is all this spunk when you play for India? I do not agree that Kumble is a very good captain. Jennings is doing all his planning, and Kumble crumbles when the chips are not in his favour. That gambler, Dhoni is the one he will have to watch out for. Dhoni tries to pull a rabbit out of his hat quite a few times, but even when a rat comes out, he knows what to do with it.

  • V.L on September 22, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    I agree Alviro is really a very humble and down to earth character! He also said "I wish them(RCB) all the luck for the semifinals. You will hardly see any captain say that these days.Infact I don't remember when was the last time a captain said so!

  • San on September 22, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    One interesting thing here. Lion's captain statement "Better team won". How many times we hear this from our international teams or our heros when they loose. Most of them always complain, A plan did'nt work, plan B failed etc rather than accepting " Better team won", which sounds more dignified. Well done Lions, you won few hearts by matured sportsman statement.

  • vas on September 22, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    Well done Bangalore. It was a really exciting match.Looking forward to CSK v Warriors. When matches are this exciting why do we need all these loud music and dancing girls.

  • Hulk on September 22, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    Redbacks will win Champions League 2010.

  • utkarsh on September 22, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    ah Alviro, you beauty. I agree with cricamateur, a player's conduct wins as many hearts as his game. thats exactly why without the likes of Alviro, Younus, Huss and good old dravid, the game's always gonna be poorer. thats the ultimate thing for cricket - play hard as iron and then regale in the afterthought. Lions under Alviro seem to have mastered the art.

  • Girish on September 22, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    It was gr8 to see Kumble and Steyn bowl their best. Kumble equally deserved man of the match, but Kohli too! Anyway, it was gr8 to see RCB march on.

    I totally agree with "cricamateur" - so called spirit of cricket boasters shud learn from Petersen.

    Both captains were simply superb and lifted their teams like anything! In the end, one had to win and it was Kumble with better team. Kudos RCB and Petersen!

  • ganesh on September 22, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    RCB has been a different unit ever since Kumble took over in IPL2 till then they were a team which had no clue of what is was doing. You can clearly see determination and the fear less attitude in the RCB now something which the team has taken from its captain.

  • Kevin on September 22, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    Idk but it seems to me like dravid is in fine form and india will need him greatly especially if they are axing yuvraj from the side. 141 runs from 4 games at average of 47 and SR of 109 for Dravid in CL2020? Someone see the light- in high pressure tournaments you can't have a team of the inexperienced no matter what form they in, you need experienced players. Look at what happened to murali vijay in 2020 world cup 2010 after coming out of ipl in prime form. Look at jonathon foo in cl2020 after coming out as the "next saviour of west indies cricket" from the domestic season. Experience counts

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