Highveld Lions played with purpose and hunted as a pack to bring down Delhi Daredevils in the first semifinal of the Champions League Twenty20 at Kingsmead here on Thursday.
Defending a total of 139 made under blustery conditions, the Lions’ bowlers struck at regular intervals to restrict the IPL team to 117 for nine and win by 22 runs.
Though Kevin Pietersen (50, 44b, 3x4, 1x6) anchored the major part of the innings, Daredevils could not accelerate after it had lost Virender Sehwag very early. David Warner was at his hitting best as he racked up 21 before being one of the two victims of Chris Morris, who bowled a miserly line to give away only seven runs in his four overs. Dirk Nannes and Aaron Phangiso also scalped two wickets each.
Bodi bats well
Earlier, a half century by opener Ghulam Bodi and some effective hitting by man-of-the-match Neil McKenzie saw the Lions put up a respectable 139 for five after being asked to bat by stand-in Daredevils skipper Ross Taylor.
Mahela Jayawardene surprised one and all by opting to sit out and that gave David Warner a chance to play. “We wanted a left-hander who add a punch against their left-arm bowlers,” said Jayawardene.
On a bouncy pitch, the Daredevils pace quartet did a commendable job as the foundation of Lions’ total was based on the 59 runs added by Bodi and Mckenzie for the fourth wicket. Bodi scored 50 (49b, 4x4, 1x6) while McKenzie, who was dropped off consecutive deliveries from Morne Morkel, managed an unbeaten 46 (27b, 4x4, 1x6).
Birthday boy Yadav provided the initial breakthrough as he induced a edge off Alviro Peterson’s bat which was taken by Naman Ojha behind the stumps. Peterson made 24 (19b, 3x4, 1x6).
Quinton de Kock, who got a reprieve thanks to Unmukt Chand, fell to a well-judged catch by the same fielder.
Bodi and McKenzie stepped up the ante in the back 10 as they got 77 runs. Interestingly, Bodi has a contract with Delhi Daredevils in Indian Premier League.
Highveld Lions: G. Bodi c Ojha b Yadav 50, A. Petersen c Ojha b Yadav 24, Q. de Kock c Unmukt b Agarkar 11, D. Pretorius c Taylor b Negi 3, N. McKenzie (not out) 46, J. Symes c Ojha b Morkel 0, C. Morris (not out) 3; Extras (lb-1, w-1): 2; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 139.
Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-58, 3-63, 4-122, 5-123.
Delhi Daredevils bowling: Irfan 4-0-27-0, M. Morkel 4-0-32-1, U. Yadav 4-1-20-2, A. Agarkar 4-0-28-1, K. Pietersen 1-0-10-0, P. Negi 3-0-21-1.
Delhi Daredevils: D. Warner c & b Morris 21, V. Sehwag c Petersen b Tanvir 0, K. Pietersen c Tsolekile 50, Unmukt c Symes b Pretorius 9, Irfan c de Kock b Phangiso 1, R. Taylor c & b Nannes 1, N. Ojha c & b Symes 7, P. Negi lbw b Phangiso 0, A. Agarkar c Petersen b Nannes 2, M. Morkel (not out) 18, U. Yadav (not out) 1; Extras (b-4, w-3): 7; Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs): 117.
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-36, 3-62, 4-72, 5-76, 6-85, 7-91, 8-92, 9-104.
Highveld Lions bowling: Tanvir 4-0-22-1, Nannes 4-0-34-2, Morris 4-0-7-2, Phangiso 4-0-18-2, Symes 3-0-22-1, Pretorius 1-0-10-1.