Reflective Langer prepares for farewell
Outgoing Somerset captain Justin Langer has called his team’s campaign in the Champions League Twenty20 an “emotional roller-coaster” and a “great experience”.
The Sabres’ chances of progressing to the semi-finals were handed a blow when they went down by six wickets to South Africa’s Diamond Eagles in Hyderabad.
Wes Durston’s 57 and James Hildreth’s knock of 31 lower down the order had given Somerset’s total some respectability after CJ de Villiers had wrecked the top order with a three-wicket burst.
However, Somerset’s score of 132 for eight hardly proved a challenge as opener Morne van Wyk steered his team home with a neatly-paced 47.
The Twenty20 Cup runners-up had started the tournament with a thrilling last-ball victory over the Deccan Chargers, but defeat to Trinidad & Tobago left their chances of progressing to the second round hinging on the Stanford 20/20 winners defeating the Chargers.
Trinidad duly obliged, although their victory over the Chargers was another edge-of-the-seat affair.
“The whole tournament has been an emotional roller-coaster for us,” Langer said.
“When we beat the Chargers in the first game it was one of the most exciting games I’ve played in. The crowd was massive, and for our young guys it was huge.
“Then, the flogging against Trinidad was a massive downer, but we were handed another chance when the Chargers lost. Today’s defeat is really disappointing for us.”
The 38-year-old former Australia batsman, who will retire from cricket at the end of their next game against New South Wales Blues, believed his team did not play to their full potential and blamed his batsmen for the defeat against the Eagles.
“We played great cricket all throughout this summer, but we haven’t played our best cricket here,” Langer said.
“We didn’t get off to a good start and we didn’t make enough runs and that is the fact of the matter.
“But it’s been a great experience for some of our young guys to step up to the next level and from that point of view it is a great thing.”
Marcus Trescothick flew back to England before this game due to a recurrence of his stress-related illness, and Langer had only good wishes for the former England opener.
“He’s okay and I think he’s feeling better now that he’s back in England,” he said.
“It’s been a tough week or so for him and it was very courageous of him to make it here in the first place. We wish him well of course.”