McKenzie, Morris lead Lions into final
Neil McKenzie scored the runs while Chris Morris starred with the ball as the Highveld Lions stormed into the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 final as they thumped the Delhi Daredevils by 22 runs in their semifinal at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.
Full Scorecard: Delhi v Lions
McKenzie compiled a wonderful innings of 46 not out off just 28 deliveries as the Lions posted 139 for five.
Paceman Morris then returned the sublime figures of 4-0-7-2 as Delhi stumbled to 117 for nine.
The Lions will now face either the Titans or Sydney in the final at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Opener Gulam Bodi had held the Lions’ innings together with 50 off 49 balls but it was McKenzie, with four fours and a six in his innings, who helped the Lions to a defendable total on a pitch which provided good bounce and carry for the new ball bowlers.
McKenzie and Bodi combined for a 59-run fourth-wicket stand to lift the Lions who had stumbled a touch to 63 for three in the 11th over.
McKenzie played some delightful shots, no more so than a short-arm jab off the bowling of paceman Morne Morkel which produced four wide of mid-on.
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The right-handed McKenzie did enjoy more than his fair share of luck and he was dropped twice off consecutive balls from the unfortunate Morkel.
Bodi reached his third fifty of the tournament off 45 balls before he succumbed to a short delivery from fast bowler Umesh Yadav which the batsman gloved through to the keeper.
Alviro Petersen, with a run-a-ball 24, gave the Lions a decent start but Quinton de Kock (11) and Dwaine Pretorius (3) failed to make much of an impression before McKenzie lit up a gloomy Kingsmead.
Delhi had sprung a surprise before a ball was even bowled when they left out their skipper Mahela Jayawardene for David Warner but stand-in captain Ross Taylor won the toss and elected to field.
Yadav was the pick of the attack with 2-20.
Delhi’s innings never really got off the ground after they lost Virender Sehwag (0) in the first over, caught at mid-on off left-arm quick Sohail Tanvir.
Morris, who bowled with genuine pace and superb accuracy, received superb support from left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso, who claimed 2-18 off four overs while paceman Dirk Nannes chipped in with 2-34.
Kevin Pietersen was the only Delhi batsman to offer any stern resistance as he weighed in with 50 off 44 balls. Just two other Delhi batsmen, Warner (21) and Morkel (18 not out) reached double figures and when Pietersen was caught behind off Morris in the 17th over the Daredevils' race was run.
HIGHVELD LIONS – Alviro Petersen (capt), Gulam Bodi, Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie, Dwaine Pretorius, Jean Symes, Thami Tsolekile (wk), Chris Morris, Sohail Tanvir, Dirk Nannes, Aaron Phangiso.
DELHI DAREDEVILS – David Warner, Virender Sehwag, Unmukt Chand, Kevin Pietersen, Ross Taylor (capt), Irfan Pathan, Naman Ojha (wk), Pawan Negi, Ajit Agarkar, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav.