Cricket: Weekend Champions League wrap-up
With the Champions League T20 in full swing, ANT SIMS recaps the weekend’s action – where both South African teams claimed convincing wins.
LIONS VS. MUMBAI INDIANS – LIONS WON BY EIGHT WICKETS
A stellar partnership between Neil McKenzie and Quinton de Kock helped the Lions claim a home victory in their first match of the Champions League T20. After winning the toss and choosing to field first, the Lions made a couple of early breakthroughs as Mumbai struggled to cope with the zip of the Highveld wicket. Dwayne Smith and Sachin Tendulkar both fell cheaply, and the rest of the order stuttered along, with not a single batsman managing to pass 30. Mumbai posted 157-6 in 20 overs; the Lions’ reply got off to a slow start, and Gulam Bodi and Alviro Petersen were both out early on. De Kock and McKenzie then combined for a 120-run partnership off 74 balls to help their side to an easy eight-wicket victory. McKenzie was in spectacular form, hitting 68 off 41, while De Kock chipped in with 51 off 33.
SYDNEY SIXERS VS. CHENNAI SUPER KINGS – SYDNEY SIXERS WON BY 14 RUNS
It was the Moises Henriques show at the Wanderers on Sunday, when the Sydney Sixers beat the Chennai Super Kings by 14 runs. Having been sent in to bat, Sydney wasted no time getting going, and Shane Watson continued his stellar form of the last few months. He hit 46 off 30 before being run out a short while after the first wicket. There were no other notable contributions from the Sixers' batting line-up until Henriques stepped in and hammered 49 off just 23 balls to help Sydney to a mammoth total of 185-5 in 20 overs. Chennai wobbled at the start, losing opener Murali Vijay for one; but Faf du Plessis strolled out, hitting 43 off 25 before being dismissed by Pat Cummins. Suresh Raina chipped in with 57 off 33, but Henriques had already ripped out the heart of the middle order and despite a late charge by Ravi Ashwin, the Super Kings couldn't get over the line.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS VS. DELHI DAREDEVILS – DAREDEVILS WON BY 52 RUNS
In the first showdown of the IPL giants, KKR got an absolute hammering at the hands of the Daredevils, despite the match itself showing very few fireworks. Kolkata won the toss and chose to field, getting a few breakthroughs early on with both openers, namely Mahela Jayawardene and Virender Sehwag, falling cheaply. Kevin Pietersen also failed to fire and managed to contribute just 14 as Delhi struggled to get the ball away. Youngster Unmukt Chand then stepped in and smacked 40 off 27 while Ross Taylor chipped in with 36 off 24 to help Delhi post 160-8 in their 20 overs. Sunil Narine was the star of Kolkata's bowling, finishing with figures of 4-0-21-3. The Knight Riders' batting left much to be desired as the top four managed just one run between them, with Jacques Kallis being forced to retire hurt after being struck on the hand by Morne Morkel. Kallis suffered no lasting damage, though, and will be back in action as soon as his side plays again. Despite some fight from the lower order, Kolkata looked limp and stuttered their way to 108-7 in their 20 overs.
TITANS VS. PERTH SCORCHERS – TITANS WON BY 39 RUNS
The Titans got their Champions League T20 campaign off to a winning start, despite having to make do without some of their big name players. The Titans are without The Brothers Morkel as well as Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers, but they looked unfazed as they cruised to victory in their opening match. An unbeaten 83 off 59 at the top of the order from Jacques Rudolph, as well as a quickfire 54 off 38 from Henry Davids, helped the Titans to 163-4 in their allotted 20 overs. The two openers looked completely set and put on a 109-run partnership before the first wicket fell with Michael Beer getting rid of Davids. Despite there being a little bit of juice in the Centurion pitch, the Perth Scorchers couldn’t quite exploit it. Perth struggled from the start and kept losing wickets in clusters (as CJ de Villiers stole the show). Perth eventually finished with figures of 4-0-16-3 as the Scorchers were restricted to 124-7 in their 20 overs, giving the home side a convincing win in their opening match of the tournament. DM
Photo by Reuters