RCB prevail in runfest over Redbacks

Wicketkeeper Arun Karthik's last-ball biggie takes Royal Challengers Bangalore into Champions League T20 semis with a thrilling two-wicket win over South Australia Redbacks 

A last ball six off the blade of Arun Karthik meant Royal Challengers Bangalore overcame a stiff target of 215 against South Australia Redbacks in the final eague fixture of the Champions League Twenty20 here at Chinnaswamy Stadium yesterday.

Unbelievable: RCB batsmen Arun Karthik (right) and Sreenath Aravind
celebrate after beating SA Redbacks in the Champions League T20 match
 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore last night. Pic/AFP

Karthik, 25, who was not even born when Javed Miandad struck the infamous last-ball six against India at Sharjah in 1986, slog-swept a slower one from Daniel Christian with the ball landing at least twenty rows over midwicket, bringing the capacity crowd to its feet.

Albeit Karthik's last-ball heroics, it was the duo Tillakaratne Dilshan (74) and Virat Kohli (70) that made a fist of the run-chase that looked improbable when Chris Gayle (26) departed after hitting three colossal sixes. Dilshan and Kohli added 100 runs off just 49 balls for the second-wicket, putting the hosts in a commanding position.

However, express fast bowler Shaun Tait returned to claim five wickets in quick time, removing Kohli, Dilshan and even skipper Daniel Vettori in the space of just 14 deliveries. Tait's final over, the penultimate over of Bangalore's run-chase, saw three wickets fall for just three runs -- leaving the hosts to get 14 runs off the final over.

Earlier, electing to bat, the Australian outfit posted the highest total in the tournament, only to have it chased down later in the evening. The last six overs of their innings produced 92 runs with latest India recruit Sreenath Aravind being hit for 69 runs in his four-over spell.

For South Australia, Daniel Harris, a qualified medical practitioner, was the star. The right-handed opener struck 17 boundaries and two sixes, one of which took him to his maiden T20 ton. Stand-in skipper Callum Ferguson was equally brilliant at the other end, scoring a 43-ball knock 70, studded with four boundaries and three sixes.

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