Bangalore: Perth Scorchers' Mitchell Marsh not just stopped Lahore Lions from making it to the semifinals of the Oppo Champions League Twenty20 with a three-wicket win in their last group match here today but also paved the way for Chennai Super Kings' entry into the last-four stage.
Marsh scored an unbeaten 63 off just 38 balls with the help of seven boundaries and three sixes, besides putting up a crucial unbroken 68 runs with Brad Hogg (28 no; 19b 2X4 2X6)) to overhaul a modest target of 125 with six balls to spare at the Chinnaswamy stadium here. Earlier, the Scorchers had restricted the Pakistani side for a mere 124 for six in their allotted 20 overs and then reached 130 for seven in 19 overs.
Had the Lahore Lions pulled off a victory by a margin of 46 runs against the Scorchers, they would have progressed to the semifinals by displacing Chennai Super Kings from second place in the Group A standings. Hogg hit Adnan Rosool for a six in the 14th over to knock Lahore out of the tournament, while sending CSK into the last-four stage.
Kolkata Knight Riders were already through to the semifinals after topping Group A, having registered four victory in as many matches. The Lions needed to bundle out the Scorchers for 78 to make the semis but failed to contain their opponents. It was Scorchers bowlers who wreaked havoc as paceman Joel Paris (3/22) and Mitchell Marsh (2/12) shared five wickets between them.
Saad Nasim top-scored for the Pakistani side with an unbeaten 69 off 55 balls, studded with five fours and a six. Put into bat, Lions lost three early wickets with just two runs on the board. Paris accounted for the wickets of the two openers in Nasir Jamshed (1) and Umar Siddiq (1), while Marsh saw off skipper Mohammad Hafeez (0) and Wahab Riaz (0) for a nought each to leave the Lions reeling at 11 for four.
Nasim shared a 43-run fifth wicket stand with Umar Akmal (26) and then put on a solid 48 with Mohammad Saeed for the sixth wicket to bring the Pakistani outfit back on track and cross the 100-run mark.
Meanwhile, play was interrupted for a brief while due to rain. Chasing a modest target, the Scorchers also did not have an ideal start as they lost seven wickets for just 62 runs on the board. The Scorchers kept losing wickets at regular interval with the top and middle order, barring opener Cameron Bancroft (22), failing to reach the double digit mark.
At 62 for seven, the Lions had a realistic chance of bundling the Aussie unit out below 78 and advance to the next stage, but Marsh and Hogg combined to consolidate the innings and guide their team to a rather comfortable victory in the end. In the 19th over, Scorchers hit three sixes off Wahab Riaz -- two by Hogg and one by Marsh -- to wrap up the match quickly.
For Pakistan, Mohammad Hafeez was the pick of the bowlers with impressive figures of two for eight in his allotted four overs.