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Match Report

CLT20 Desk in Mumbai

Match Report: M 4 - Highveld Lions vs Mumbai Indians

Experienced McKenzie pilots Highveld Lions in eight-wicket win

Impressively compiled half-centuries from Quinton de Kock and Neil McKenzie helped the Highveld Lions nail down a thrilling run-chase against the Mumbai Indians in Match 4 of the Karbonn CLT20 2012. After the Mumbai Indians had posted 157 batting first, the Highveld Lions chased down the required runs in the 19th over to register a convincing eight-wicket victory.

When de Kock and McKenzie got together in the seventh over, the Highveld Lions faced an uphill task; they still needed to score 101 runs from 13.1 overs. McKenzie opened his account with a reverse paddle sweep, but he would then settle down and play himself in before launching at the death. de Kock meanwhile played the perfect foil to the experienced McKenzie; he would hit the occasional boundary and keep rotating the strike to keep the required rate in check.

McKenzie had hit only three boundaries in his first 24 balls; however, once the time had come to step on the accelerator, he went after the Mumbai Indians bowlers. He hit nine boundaries in the final five overs to take control of the match at just the right time. The 37-year-old generally played authentic cricket shots, but every once in a while he pulled out the reverse sweep or the reverse paddle sweep. He targeted the Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh and hit him for four boundaries in one over – the 17th of the innings.

de Kock too played an important hand; he signaled intent early on when he hit Pragyan Ojha for two sixes. But when McKenzie got into his stride, the 19-year-old slipped into the backseat and let his partner do the bulk of the scoring. McKenzie would remain unbeaten on 68 (41 balls), while the teenager de Kock would bring up his half-century just before McKenzie hit the winning runs. The duo were involved in a record partnership; the 121-run stand between de Kock and McKenzie would become the highest third wicket partnership in the CLT20.

Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga were the wicket-takers for the Mumbai Indians, while Dhawal Kulkarni and Kieron Pollard came in for a lot of stick.

Earlier in the afternoon, after being asked to bat, the Mumbai Indians got off to a rocking start – even if the extras conceded by the Highveld Lions were a significant contributor. Dwayne Smith, hit six boundaries, before he played all over a sharp inswinger from Chris Morris and was trapped leg before wicket; he made 26 from 19 balls. At this point, the Mumbai Indians had scored 44 in 4.4 overs.

Rohit Sharma joined Sachin Tendulkar in the middle and though they couldn’t force the pace, they would accumulate runs and keep the scoreboard ticking; the pair would add 19 runs in four overs, before the latter was deceived in flight by the left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso and lost his leg stump.

The Mumbai Indians would consolidate over the next five overs; Rohit Sharma (27 runs) and Mitchell Johnson added 35 runs, before the former would lose his stumps to Dirk Nannes. Johnson, who was primarily sent out to go after the left-arm spinner Phangiso, struggled to force the pace and scored 30 (off 29 balls), before he would be dismissed in the 19th over. The dangerous Kieron Pollard only managed to hit two boundaries, before he was cleaned up by a Sohail Tanvir yorker.

The Mumbai Indians needed some impetus at the end and that came from the willow of Dinesh Karthik; the wicketkeeper-batsman hit two boundaries and a six in his nine-ball cameo to guide the team past the 150-run mark. Ambati Rayudu would remain unbeaten on 4 and the Mumbai Indians would finish their 20 overs at 157 for six.

Sohail Tanvir (2-15) was the most successful bowler for the Highveld Lions. But the bowlers who caused most damage – by way of strangling the Mumbai Indians batsmen – were Dirk Nannes and Aaron Phangiso. Between them, Nannes and Phangiso bowled eight overs, conceded only 32 runs and picked up two wickets.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 157-6 in 20 overs (Dwayne Smith 26, Rohit Sharma 27, Mitchell Johnson 30, Sohail Tanvir 2-31) lost to Highveld Lions 158-2 in 18.5 overs (Neil McKenzie 68*, Quinton de Kock 51*, Lasith Malinga 1-18)

Man of the Match: Neil McKenzie, for his match-winning 68, which included twelve boundaries.

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