We would like to finish first: Johan Botha

Warriors captain Johan Botha wants his side to make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League twenty20 by winning all their matches in the group stage.

"We would like to finish first. Our next game is against KKR. Three victories would take us into the knock-outs. From there, you are two away from winning the championship. It is not going to be easy but we are looking forward to the challenge," Botha said after his team forcefully beat the South Australia Redbacks.

Winning the first two matches in the main round has given them the requisite confidence.

"We knew it is going to be difficult for them if we took it to 170. Three wickets in first six overs was great," the Proteas offie said.

Redbacks' captain Michael Klinger admitted that they have played poor cricket.

"They played better than us. There are no excuses. We did not execute our basic skills well and lost wickets regularly. The run rate was high and they did well to contain us," Klinger said.

Klinger however dismissed theories of lack of practice being their undoing.

"We had practice back in Australia and five days in Kolkata and also here in the last few days. That can't be an excuse."

Champions League Twenty20 2011 Schedule

DateMatch DetailsTime (IST)Place
Sep 23 - FriRCB v Warriors, 1st Match20:00Bengaluru
Sep 24 - SatCape Cobras v NSW, 2nd Match16:00Chennai
Sep 24 - SatCSK v MI, 3rd Match20:00Chennai
Sep 25 - SunWarriors v South Australia, 4th Match16:00Hyderabad
Sep 25 - SunSomerset v KKR, 5th Match20:00Hyderabad
Sep 26 - MonMI v T&T, 6th Match20:00Bengaluru
Sep 27 - TueSomerset v South Australia, 7th Match20:00Hyderabad
Sep 28 - WedNSW v T&T, 8th Match16:00Chennai
Sep 28 - WedCSK v Cape Cobras, 9th Match20:00Chennai
Sep 29 - ThuSomerset v RCB, 10th Match20:00Bengaluru
Sep 30 - FriMI v Cape Cobras, 11th Match20:00Bengaluru
Oct 01 - SatSouth Australia v KKR, 12th Match16:00Kolkata
Oct 01 - SatSomerset v Warriors, 13th Match20:00Kolkata
Oct 02 - SunMI v NSW, 14th Match16:00Chennai
Oct 02 - SunCSK v T&T, 15th Match20:00Chennai
Oct 03 - MonRCB v KKR, 16th Match20:00Bengaluru
Oct 04 - TueCape Cobras v T&T, 17th Match16:00Chennai
Oct 04 - TueCSK v NSW, 18th Match20:00Chennai
Oct 05 - WedWarriors v KKR, 19th Match16:00Bengaluru
Oct 05 - WedRCB v South Australia, 20th Match20:00Bengaluru
Oct 07 - FriTBC v TBC, 1st Semi-final20:00Bengaluru
Oct 08 - SatTBC v TBC, 2nd Semi-final20:00Chennai
Oct 09 - SunTBC v TBC, Final20:00Chennai

CSK - Chennai Super Kings
KKR - Kolkata Knight Riders
RCB - Royal Challengers Bangalore
MI - Mumbai Indians

T&T - Trinidad and Tobago
NSW - New South Wales

KKR beat Auckland by two runs in thriller

The Kolkata Knight Riders produced a disciplined bowling display to beat the Auckland Aces by two runs in a thrilling low-scoring Champions League Twenty20 qualifiers match on the opening day of the qualifying round at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

KKR won the toss Electing to bat, the Kolkata Knight Riders scored a modest 121 for six after they suffered a batting collapse, but their bowlers produced a superb show to restrict Auckland to 119 for six in a match that went down the wire after many twist and turns.

Auckland lost their first wicket off the first ball of their run chase, recovered at 60 for one, and then slumped to 61 for four in the 10th over. They were still in the hunt for an upset victory but with pressure piling and the required run-rate always climbing, they eventually fell short by two runs.

The last over of the match was guaranteed to produce high drama with Auckland needing 11 runs to win and Brett Lee taking the ball for Kolkata. In the event, Lee gave up just 8 runs in his over, in a superb display of controlled fast bowling, to put paid to the New Zealand side's hopes.

Manvinder Singh Bisla is the MoM for his fine knock of 45

Injured Gambhir to skip CL Twenty20 qualifiers

Kolkata Knight Rider’s captain, Gautam Gambhir will not take the field in the Champions League Twenty20 Qualifiers for the Shah Rukh Khan owned team as he has not fully recovered from his injury. South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis will lead the team in Gambhir's absence.

Gautam GambhirGambhir suffered a mild concussion while attempting to take a catch during the 4th Test match against England at The Oval. He missed out on the entire Twenty20 & ODI Series of the ongoing England tour.

The qualifiers will start on the 19th of September and get over on the 21st and will feature 6 teams.

Apart from KKR, Trinidad and Tobago, Ruhuna Rhinos, Auckland Aces, Leicestershire and Somerset will play in the qualifying phase with 3 teams going through to the main event.

Anderson may play IPL to earn T20 berth

After becoming the 2nd England bowler to scalp 200 wickets in both ODIs and Tests, pacer James Anderson said he might consider playing in the Indian Premier League to convince the selectors of his capabilities in the Twenty20 format.

Anderson was not part of the England squad that won the Twenty20 World Cup in 2010 and the 29-year-old pacer said he would look to perform well in the ongoing ODI series against India to earn a place in the T20 squad as well.

"My immediate priority is to play my part in winning the ODI series against India, but if I bowl well enough perhaps that will push me back into their thinking," Anderson was quoted as saying by the Daily mail.

"If not, one option might be to try to play in the Indian Premier League next spring or elsewhere, something I'm really going to have to consider."

"I'm sure the selectors know my feelings. I want to play T20 cricket for England, I'm disappointed that I'm not and it's down to me to persuade them I should be," he added.

Anderson on Saturday became only the second England bowler after Darren Gough (235) to take 200 wickets in both ODIs and Test cricket during the rain-marred first one-dayer against India at Chester-le-Street.

With the 2012 World Cup Twenty20 just a year and nine matches away for England, Anderson said he is running out of time to convince the selectors.