Lions beat Mumbai in CL opener

The Champions League Twenty20 got off a thrilling and surprise start with local outfit Highveld Lions of South Africa defeating star-studded Mumbai Indians by nine runs.

By (AP)

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Published: Sat 11 Sep 2010, 10:37 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:58 AM

Vandiar hit his highest Twenty20 score as South African side Highveld Lions claimed a nine-run win over the Mumbai Indians in the opening game of the Champions League Twenty20 competition.

The opening batsman smashed 71 from 48 balls as the Lions posted 186-5 at their Wanderers Stadium after being asked to bat first by Mumbai captain Sachin Tendulkar. Neil McKenzie added 56 not out from 30 balls.

Tendulkar led the Indian Premier League team’s chase with a sublime 69 from 42 balls, but he fell with Mumbai still 56 runs short of victory, and the favorites stuttered to 177-6 in their 20 overs.

Shane Burger bowled Tendulkar and then big-hitting West Indian Kieron Pollard late on to lead the Lions’ bowlers with 2-33 off his four overs.

“All credit to the Lions,” Tendulkar said. “They picked off wickets at crucial moments. I thought my wicket and Pollard, we got out at the wrong time. Our bowling and fielding looked rusty. We need to get charged up.”

Left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso and Zander de Bruyn backed up Burger with one wicket each for the Lions.

“We got good runs on the board and the bowlers backed it up,” Lions captain Alviro Petersen said. “We set ourselves 160 to 170 and towards the end we managed more. 186 was a winning total but Sachin batted well and gave us some nerves.”

South African President Jacob Zuma was present for the toss at the tournament-opener and Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias performed for the Johannesburg crowd.

Vandiar provided the entertainment after that as he dominated a 43-run partnership with Vaughn van Jaarsfeld (13) and then combined with McKenzie for 64 runs as the Lions recovered from 38-2 to 145-4 by the time Vandiar was dismissed.

The 20-year-old Vandiar launched the first six of the competition in the ninth over. He reached his half-century off 39 balls with another maximum over the extra-cover boundary.

The left-hander’s best shot came as he flicked a short ball from Lasith Malinga over the wooden stands at mid-wicket to move to 71 and his highest T20 score.

Malinga had his revenge off the next ball when Vandiar was caught by Tendulkar in the covers. He had hit three sixes and four fours.

Better known for his stoic defense in test cricket, Mckenzie also reached his half-century with a massive blow for six off Zaheer Khan as he continued the Lions momentum.

Zander de Bruyn chipped in with two fours at the end, and 12 off seven, as the Lions reached a competitive 186 for five. Sri Lanka’s Malinga was Mumbai’s best bowler with 3-33 off four overs.

Tendulkar and fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan looked like making light work of the run chase with an 83-run partnership.

This year’s IPL runner-up had already reached 50 off 42 balls, when Tendulkar hit successive fours off Phangiso in the eighth over.

Dhawan joined in with a one-handed heave for six of the spinner in the 10th, but Phangiso had his revenge next ball when Dhawan reverse swept straight to Richard Cameron at backward point.

Ambati Rayudu was run out for just three by Petersen, but Tendulkar moved to a sublime 50 off 32 balls as he lofted over the infield and down to the cover boundary. The skipper found a better partner in Duminy, the leading runscorer in the 2009 Champions League when he played for South Africa’s Cape Cobras.

The 100 came up for Mumbai off 75 balls and Tendulkar and Duminy went on to add a quickfire 42 in under four overs.

But Burger gave the Lions hope when he bowled Tendulkar with a clever inswinging delivery.

And, despite two trademark sixes from the powerful Pollard, Burger struck again with a similar ball to leave Mumbai teetering at 156-4 — needing 31 to win in three overs.

Duminy’s demise for 30 off 23, when he was caught at long-off by a jubilant Petersen, swung the game firmly in the home team’s favor.

Even a late six from Rajagopal Sathish, whose top-edge somehow carried over the fence, couldn’t deny the Lions as they closed out the game with the run out of Sathish.

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