Lions tame Mumbai Indians in CL opener

Zeecric Bureau

Johannesburg: Sachin Tendulkar’s brilliant innings could not get the Mumbai Indians off to a good start in the Champions League as they lost to tournament underdogs Highveld Lions by 9 runs in the opening match.

JP Duminy did try to turn things around after the captains departure but the stiff target was out of the reach after his wicket.

Jonathan Vandiar and Neil McKenzie smashed blistering half-centuries as Lions had posted a challenging 186 for five against Mumbai Indians in the opening Group B match of the second edition of Champions League Twenty20 tournament.

Vandiar cracked a 48-ball 71 at the top to set the tone for the innings, while McKenzie blasted a whirlwind 30-ball 56 down the order to power Lions across the 150-mark.

Electing to bat first, Alviro Petersen and Jonathan Vandiar started off on a positive note but a terrible mix up between the two helped Mumbai Indians scalp the first Lions wicket in the fourth over.

Cameron then joined Vandiar and brought his first four when he smashed Lasith Malinga over mid-on. But he couldn`t stay longer as going for a big shot off Ali Murtaza he was caught by Zaheer Khan at mid-on.

VB van Jaarsveld and Vandiar then joined hands and brought up the fifty in the eight over.

Vandiar stepped on the gas and smashed Harbhajan Singh for a four at point, before blasting Zaheer Khan for successive boundaries in the eighth over.

The opener then hammered J P Duminy over long-on for his first six of the day in the next over.

Jaarsveld tried to give support at the other end and picked up ones and twos but Malinga send him packing in the 11th over.

Looking to launch Malinga out of the park, Jaarsveld scooped it high in the sky only to be caught by McLaren as Lions reduced to 81 for three.

Vandiar then brought up the hundred for the Lions with a single in the 13th over, before sending Rajagopal Sathish over extra cover to bring his fifty in the next over.

He continued his blitzkrieg and blasted Pollard for a four before clobbering Malinga over midwicket to pick up another six in the 17th over.

But another attempt for a big shot drew curtains on his innings as he tossed one straight to Tendulkar who pouched it without fuss. Malinga struck again in the last ball, removing Robert Frylinck (1).

Neil McKenzie then took the onus on himself and stepped on the acceleration and clubbed Murtaza for consecutive fours in the next over.

McKenzie also blasted Malinga over midwicket and took some cheeky singles and twos, courtesy some poor fielding by Mumbai Indians.

In the 20th over, the South African clobbered Zaheer for a six and brought up another four as Lions posted a challenging total on board.

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