Just two months after suffering a stress fracture of the back, CJ de Villiers has starred in both of the Eagles' wins of the Champions League Twenty20 so far. He said it was 'magical' to have recovered so quickly and to be in India, a feeling Eagles' opponents aren't likely to share. He isn't likely to be winning any friends in the county circuit: three days ago he took two wickets in two balls in the one-over eliminator to knock out Sussex, and today he grabbed 4 for 17 (the best figures in the tournament) to put Somerset on the brink of elimination.
The tone was set today after Justin Langer opted to bat; de Villiers raced through two wickets in his first over. Marcus Trescothick's sudden return to England forced Craig Kieswetter to open, but he didn't go much further than two streaky boundaries. In a double-wicket opening over, de Villiers began by trapping Kieswetter right in front and a wide later Arul Suppiah, stuck on the crease, missed the ball and was done in by the angle.
That over brought Zander de Bruyn to the middle with the need to add some solidity to the innings. It was not to be, as he swatted an ugly heave straight to mid-off to gift de Villiers a third. A Somerset record sixth-wicket partnership of 77 lifted them from 52 for 5, but de Villiers ended that stand by removing the impressive Wes Durston in the 19th over, which was a maiden as well. Somerset were limited to 132, a total Eagles sauntered past with eight balls and five wickets to spare.