A clinical all-round performance from the Lahore Lions saw them emerge victorious against the Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2 of the Oppo CLT20 2014. Set to chase a modest 136 against a testing and experienced bowling attack, the Lahore Lions played smart cricket, timed their acceleration perfectly and ensured they finished the contest with two points on the board. (Also Read: MATCH REPORT: Q1– NORTHERN KNIGHTS V SOUTHERN EXPRESS)
There wasn’t too much action in the first four overs of the run-chase. Ahmed Shehzad set the ball rolling picking up two boundaries in the fifth over and then got stuck into young Jasprit Bumrah hitting him for two boundaries and a six in the following over.
The introduction of Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha put the brakes on the scoring yet again. The six overs bowled by the two spinners in tandem soon after the field restrictions were relaxed yielded only 28 runs. Shehzad (34 from 33 balls) perished to Ojha in the eighth over, while Nasir Jamshed (26 from 24 balls) was dismissed by the off-spinner in the 11th over.
With the required rate slowly starting to climb, Saad Nasim attempted a big hit but didn’t connect well and gave Ojha his second wicket of the night. The 16th over bowled by Kieron Pollard released the pressure as the Lahore Lions picked up 13 runs. Umar Akmal opened his shoulders thereafter and in the company of Asif Raza saw the team past the finish line with eight balls to spare. Umar, who remained unbeaten on 38 (18 balls), finished the match in style slamming Bumrah for two boundaries and a six, while Asif Raza remained undefeated on 14.
Harbhajan Singh and Ojha were undoubtedly Mumbai Indians’ best bowlers, finishing with combined figures of 8-0-44-3. Praveen Kumar too did a tidy job conceding only 15 runs in his three overs. The rest of the MI bowling attack came for plenty of stick and that will be an area the team will want to look at boosting in the remaining matches. The 7.4 overs bowled by Bumrah, Pollard and Malinga cost MI 78 runs.
Earlier in the evening, after being put in to bat, the Mumbai Indians got off to a quiet start accumulating 20 runs in the first three overs before Aizaz Cheema gave the visitors their first breakthrough. With runs hard to come by, the MI opener Lendl Simmons attempted to go over the top but didn’t get under the ball sufficiently and ended up holing out to the man at mid off. Jalaj Saxena, playing his first match for the franchise, succumbed the following delivery when he fished at one that straightened and saw the outside edge grabbed by Nasir Jamshed at slip. Ambati Rayudu, who has played the savior role many a times in the past, perished in the following over when he attempted a heave through the leg-side only to edge the short delivery into the safe gloves of Umar Akmal. From 20 for no loss, MI had slumped to 23 for 3 in the space of nine deliveries.
The recovery came through a 44-run partnership between Michael Hussey and Aditya Tare, with both players making equal contributions.
Hussey (28 from 26 balls) was fourth batsman to be dismissed when he edged Wahab Riaz’s second delivery to the wicket-keeper.
Tare carried on until the eighteenth over before holing out to the man at midwicket. He made 37 from 36 balls, studded with two boundaries and as many sixes. Cameos from Harbhajan Singh (18 from 10 balls) and Praveen Kumar (20 from 14 balls) helped the Mumbai Indians to a respectable 135 for 7.
Four of the six Lahore Lions bowers who bowled finished with an economy rate of six or lesser. Aizaz Cheema was the most successful bowler for the visitors returning with figures of two for 22 from his four overs, while Wahab Riaz (2-31) and Imran Ali (1-22) too chipped in with wickets.
Lahore Lions win by 6 wickets
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 135-7 in 20.0 overs (Aditya Tare 37, Michael Hussey 28, Aizaz Cheema 2-22, Wahab Riaz 2-31) lost to Lahore Lions 139-4 in 18.4 overs (Nasir Jamshed 26, Ahmed Shehzad 34, Umar Akmal 38*, Pragyan Ojha 2-18).
Man of the Match: Umar Akmal, for his unbeaten 38 and two catches.
Hafeez: "I think the boys did a great job with the new ball, and I'm happy with how we did in the later overs. Umar Akmal was exceptional. The conditions helped the seamers, and I think everyone chipped in. It's great to see the boys get in and score runs."
Pollard: "I thought at the time runs on the board brings pressure. We brought ourselves back into the game with a couple of wickets. The seam got pretty wet, that's not an excuse, and I can't fault the effort of the bowlers. The pressure is on us as defending champions. We need to win the next two games."