Miller Plays Through The Pain To Guide Yorkshire To Win
Yorkshire 151-5 (Miller 39no) beat
Uva Next 150-7 (Kandamby 29no) by 5 wickets
CLT20 Qualifying Tournament, Pool 2, Johannesburg
David Miller returned to the crease after being hit in the face by Umar Gul to guide Yorkshire to a tense last-over win against Uva Next as the Champions League T20 got underway in front of an empty stadium in Johannesburg.
The South African left-hander was led from the field bleeding profusely in the middle of the 13th over after a bouncer from Gul had found its way between the grille and the peak of his helmet and hit him flush on the nose. However, he returned following the loss of wicket-keeper Dan Hodgson, with 18 needed of 10 balls, and smashed Dilshan Munaweera for three successive boundaries to leave just three needed off the final over. He then had the pleasure of hitting the winning single off his tormentor, Gul, midway through the final over.
Miller's earlier departure had ended a useful fifth-wicket stand of 25 between him and Adil Rashid which had helped Yorkshire recover from an eighth over Munaweera double strike. When Miller was forced to retire hurt, Yorkshire were on 91 for four, potentially five, and in danger of having their inexperienced lower middle-order exposed. However, Rashid took on the role of the aggressor from Miller, while debutant wicket-keeper Dan Hodgson rotated the strike nicely, and the pair added 42 together prior to Hodgson's departure in the 19th over for 18 off 21 balls. Miller then came to the fore and was partnered by Rashid when the winning run was hit - the former England leg-spinner ending on 36 not out off 30 balls.
Uva Next had earlier begun brightly after being asked to bat by Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale on a pitch that had an even covering of live grass. Unfortunately for Gale, his opening bowlers, Ryan Sidebottom in particular, didn't make the most of the helpful conditions and Uva raced to 42 in the sixth over. Sri Lanka fringe players Dilshan Munaweera and Bhanuka Rajapaksa each hit one six, but fell in the twenties to Moin Ashraf and Adil Rashid respectively as Yorkshire began to claw things back.
Andrew McDonald and Shiv Chanderpaul added 38 off 31 balls for the third-wicket, but both fell in successive overs, to Azeem Rafiq - who was the pick of Yorkshire's attack with figures of one for 25 - and Steven Patterson (two for 30). Thilina Kandamby, Uva's captain, ensured that the wheels didn't fall off completely and ended unbeaten on 29 off 22 balls, but Yorkshire's spinners can be pleased with their day's work, having returned combined figures of two for 56 from eight overs. Moin Ashraf is another who bowled well and helped them recover from their shaky start, ending with figures of two for 29 from his four overs.
In other news from the tournament, Chennai Super Kings players Dwayne Bravo and S Anirudha have been ruled out through injury and will be replaced by Nuwan Kulasekara and Shadab Jakati respectively. Uva Next have lost the services of Upul Tharanga due to a broken finger with him replaced in their squad by Ashan Priyanjan.
© Cricket World 2012
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