De Kock, McKenzie bash Mumbai
Neil McKenzie and Quinton de Kock both struck fifties to lead the Highveld Lions to a comfortable eight-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians in their Karbonn Champions League Twenty20 match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Full Scorecard: Lions v Mumbai Indians
McKenzie was unbeaten on a sparkling 68 off 41 balls with 12 fours while De Kock was not out on 51 off 33 deliveries with five fours and two sixes as the Lions, chasing Mumbai’s 157 for six, reached 158 for two with seven balls of their innings remaining.
It was very much a case of the old and the new for the Lions as the 36-year-old McKenzie and the 19-year-old De Kock combined for a superb 121-run third-wicket partnership off 12 overs to see the Lions to victory.
The right-handed McKenzie showed that big-hitting is not a pre-requisite for T20 success as he mixed a blend of traditional cricket shots, including some wonderful pulls, with a few audacious reverse-sweeps during his chanceless knock.
The left-handed De Kock gave a glimpse of his enormous potential and he was particularly strong on the leg-side although as he grew more comfortable at the crease he played a few powerful off-side strokes.
The Lions had made a cautious start to their run chase with the opening pair of Alviro Petersen (14) and Gulam Bodi (19) battling to score.
Petersen was the first man to go, wonderfully caught by Ambati Rayudu at short cover off the bowling of paceman Lasith Malinga, while Bodi was caught at first slip off Harbhajan Singh.
The Lions were 37 for two in the seventh over when McKenzie joined De Kock at the crease and the pair first blunted Mumbai’s attack before launching an assault with 17 runs being scored off the 16th over of the innings, bowled by seamer Dhawal Kulkarni, and 16 runs off the next over, bowled by Harbhajan, to settle the match.
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The Lions’ bowlers had earlier played their part in restricting a powerful Mumbai batting line-up.
Left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso was the star of the show as he returned the wonderful figures of 4-0-17-1 while left-arm quick Dirk Nannes was not too far behind as he claimed 1-15 off his four overs.
Left-arm paceman Sohail Tanvir was the most successful bowler as he claimed 2-31.
Despite the bowlers’ good work in restricting Mumbai the hosts would have been disappointed with the 24 extras that they conceded in the field with fast bowler Chris Morris (4-0-44-1) bowling five wides.
The Lions won the toss and elected to field but Dwayne Smith gave the visitors a good start with an aggressive 26 before he was trapped leg-before by Morris.
Mumbai romped to 45 for off the first five overs of their innings but the introduction of Phangiso slowed the scoring rate and the bowler earned his just reward when he bowled Sachin Tendulkar (16).
Rohit Sharma looked in good touch as he compiled a run-a-ball 27 which included smashing two fours and six off an over form medium-pacer Zander de Bruyn but he was dismissed when he played across the line and was bowled by Nannes.
Kieron Pollard (11) was the next to go, yorked by Tanvir, before Mitchell Johnson, who top-scored with 30 off 29 balls skied a Tanvir delivery to keeper Thami Tsolekile.
Dinesh Karthik provided some late impetus as he raced to 19 not out off just nine balls.
HIGHVELD LIONS - Alviro Petersen (capt), Gulam Bodi, Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie, Jean Symes, Zander de Bruyn, Thami Tsolekile (wk), Chris Morris, Sohail Tanvir, Aaron Phangiso, Dirk Nannes
MUMBAI INDIANS - Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Smith, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh (capt), Mitchell Johnson, Dhawal Kulkarni, Lasith Malinga, Pragyan Ojha.