Spirit saw us home - Langer
Captain Justin Langer hailed the character of his Somerset side after they pulled off a pulsating one-wicket win over Deccan Chargers in their opening Champions League Twenty20 match.
Chasing 154 to win, Somerset slipped from 50 for one to 99 for seven, but Alfonso Thomas and James Hildreth shared an eighth-wicket stand of 50 off 32 balls to take them to the brink of victory.
Thomas made light of the loss of Hildreth and Max Waller in the final over to smash Scott Styris for two fours and seal victory off the final ball in Hyderabad.
Thomas, having taken 2-25, finished unbeaten on 30 off 17 deliveries, but Langer preferred to focus on the team spirit within the Somerset camp.
“It’s a great thrill for most of our guys to play in front of a crowd like this and a magnificent stadium like this,” Langer said. “The noise was amazing and obviously to win in a very close contest just goes to show the character we’ve got at the club.
“We are a very close-knit team and most of us have played together for a very long time. That is going to be an advantage for us.
“We have also had a couple of fantastic years in county cricket and we won a lot of close games like this. This win is a tribute to the character of the guys.
“It’s funny because Gilly (Adam Gilchrist), Andrew Symonds and most of the support staff at the Deccan Chargers are some of my closest mates. We might have a laugh in a few days time, but I’m not sure they will be laughing about it tonight.”
Langer claims his players will have to draw on their mental strength in their remaining games, with Trinidad & Tobago providing the opposition in Bangalore on Monday.
“It’s a hectic schedule, but that’s okay because it will show how mentally tough we are in this competition,” Langer added. “We have a big game against Trinidad and Tobago which we have got to win.
“There are a lot of areas we can improve on, but to beat the Chargers on their home ground is a big confidence booster.
Thomas echoed Langer’s thoughts, deflecting any praise directed his way back to his team-mates.
“I just couldn’t believe we had done it there at the end, but it was a lot of experience coming through,” he said. “We just had to keep our focus, but I think it was a great team effort as well.
“The boys really fought back hard in the middle and it was a good all-round effort. It’s a never-say-die team.”
The Chargers have not a Twenty20 match in nine games at their home ground, but skipper Adam Gilchrist praised his players for taking the game to the last ball after they shortcomings with the bat.
“I thought we were about 40 runs short on this wicket,” Gilchrist said. “But we fought really well and in tough conditions. We had the rain and a wet ball at the end of it, but we hung in there and fought back really well.”