Battle of the little ’uns

2010-09-25 00:00

THIS is what the Champions League is all about. Two relatively unknown teams, slugging it out on the big stage for the kind of cash they only see in the lottery draw.

Now that they are within touching distance, both the South Australian Redbacks and the Chevrolet Warriors will be going hell for leather to make tomorrow’s decider at the Bull Ring.

The similarities between the sides is rather startling. Both have lion-hearts for captains, both of whom have been in incredible form throughout the tournament.

Both sides also have attacks that rely on variety, and then of course there is the energy in the field. Far from the star-stuffed teams from the IPL, the Warriors and the Redbacks have restored faith in the role of the underdog.

They have punched above their weight, and now stand a game away from a global showpiece match.

Of course, separating them at Centurion this evening may require more precision than slicing yesterday’s leftovers for beef sandwiches.

They are that well-matched.

Both sides have opening batters in blistering form. Michael Klinger and Davey Jacobs have both led their sides from the front, bashing five half-centuries between them.

Klinger, like most half-decent Aussies, has barely sniffed a baggy green cap, but he has displayed a knack for crucial runs here.

Jacobs, often an unsung hero, has inspired his young guns by charging from the front, and both he and Klinger will be looking for yet another fast start tonight.

Where the Warriors may be caught cold is in the conditions.While they have cossetted at their St George’s fortress for the group stages, they will now travel to Centurion, which has more life than the low, slow PE pitch.

Not that Jacobs is worried.

”We are looking forward to playing at Centurion. We have had good success there, and hope that it will go well against the Redbacks,” he said.

The Warriors’ attack looks better balance, with Makhaya Ntini, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Rusty Theron’s pace supplemented by Nicky Boje and Johan Botha’s slow stuff.

The Redbacks have one ace in the pack, and he is rather significant.

Shaun Tait has blown away several top-order batsmen already through sheer pace, and his ability to hit the 150km/h mark straight away leaves precious little time for sighters.

This is a contest that will be decided by the finer details, and the fielding of both sides has been world class. Callum Ferguson and Daniel Harris have been stunning for the Redbacks, whilseJacobs, Prince and the energetic Colin Ingram have hustled effectively for the boys from PE.

It is terrifically tight, and the only sensible call is that a worthy finalist will emerge from this batle of the little ‘uns.


Today: 5pm – live on SuperSport 2

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