Johannesburg, South Africa: The first match of the Airtel Champions League 2010 twenty20 tournament saw the Lions tame the Master Blaster Sachina Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians. In the high-scoring match Highveld Lions emerged winner by 9 runs.
Although the team of superstars was defeated by the underdogs Lions, who had just McKenzie in their performance to boast of international player, the game was a contest between the batsmen of both sides. Bowlers, except Burger, were there to be hit in the high scoring match.
Vandiar and McKenzie Mock the International Bowlers
MI had Mclaren, Zaheer, Malinga, and Harbhajan as key bowlers, besides Pollard and often useful Duminy in their bowling line-up. All of them bowled. Even Murtaza and part time bowler Sathish bowled. The battery of 8 bowlers gave 186 runs in 20 overs taking just 5 wickets.
The Lions opener Vandiar batted with authority, right from the beginning. Despite losing his partner Petersen, Captain of Lions, and Cameron with score reading just 38, he kep the scoreboard look healthy. McKenzie just added more spice to the Lions score by scoring flying 56 runs of just 30 balls. Both the batsmen together made the international bowlers look club-class.
Master Scores, Pollard Hits, But Burger Serves Victory to Lions
The master blaster Sachin Tendulkar lived upto his reputation and continued his tremendous form scoring 69 runs, without a six, at a strike rate of 164.28. He got two life on the way, one by umpire and other when he was dropped. Yet, he batted with authority and until he got out, MI looked to be winning comfortably.
Dhawan provided good opening stand, but other batsmen found the Lions bowlers difficult to negotiate. Duminy scored brisky 30 runs, but more was expected of him. Pollard, as is known for his short very quick innings, took 16 runs of Burger’s one over. But, after having already taken the wicket of Sachin, Burger was in for a big day, when in the same big hitting over, his final ball rattled Pollard’s defence. With that MI’s hope was literally gone.
Burger took the 2 most crucial wickets of Tendulkar and Pollard, and despite having 186 runs on board, it was Burger’s spell which got Lions the match. Unfortunately, a high scoring match demands a batsman to be the man of the match. Vandiar played well, but Burger deserved MOM better than any player in this match.
Mclaren Mystery and Last Over
Malinga was the best bowler of the match, taking 33/3 in 4 overs. The mystery of McLaren getting just 1 over in the match, especially when all other bowlers were leaking runs badly, would remain a puzzle to be solved by analysts. Zaheer Khan’s last over was hit for 17 runs. Ironically, MI needed 16 runs in the last over to win.