NSW hold edge over Victoria
by Rohit Sakunia

Player:CL White, DJ Hussey, B Lee, PJ Hughes, DA Warner
Event:Champions League 2009/10

DateLine: 21st October 2009


NSW's excellent batting line-up looks to tilt the balance in their favour when they meet Victoria Bushrangers in the first semi-final of the CLT20 today.


Skipper Simon Katich and his wards have emerged from the group stage with an impeccable all-win record before being defeated by Trinidad & Tobago, surprisingly a West Indian outfit that is yet to be defeated.


Even on the day of the loss, NSW looked quite close to winning, but because of a scintillating performance of Kieron Pollard who lit up Friday night with an unbeaten 18-ball 54 they finished on the wrong side.


The batting of the champion Australian outfit is studded with stars like Simon Katich, David Warner, Phillip HUghes, Moises Henriques and many such names. Warner was magnificent in the last game against the Somerset Sabres and if he fires at the top of the order, even a Kotla pitch could be tamed.


If the Openers of New South Wales, Warner and Hughes start with a similar performance today as of the last game, Victoria could end up doing a catching job for the remainder of the day.


If these two were not enough, Australian opening batsman Katich takes guard at number three to lend stability to the middle order and though Moises Henrique has not played a special knock yet in the tournament, there still cant be any question about his ability.


The bowling department looks equally good if not better with Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Doug Bollinger in charge of the seam attack. The three have been fabulous thus far in the tournament and have earned the respect of all opposition batsmen.


Lee, since making a comeback from his injury, has not looked back. He has been a miser in giving up runs and has picked up wickets at regular intervels. Stuart Clark though does not generate the same pace and bounce that Lee and Bollinger do, but still on accuracy he has no answers among contemporary bowlers.


Victoria on the other hand have made steady progress in the tournament. They lost of Waymaba Elevens and surprisingly beat one of the major tournament favourites Delhi Daredevils in the first round itself.


The worry for VB skipper Cameron White would be his batsman's form as he alongside other batsman in the side have seldom lighted up the atmosphere with their swashbuckling batting. Even star batsman David Hussey has not looked all that great and today White and Hussey would have to come good if they want to stage a contest against their domestic rivals.


The bowling is the better side of the team and it looks good with Shane Harwood, Peter Siddle and Clint McKay in form.