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You are here: Cricket CLT20 CLT20 Semi final 1: Lions down Delhi by 22 runs to roar into final

CLT20 Semi final 1: Lions down Delhi by 22 runs to roar into final

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The Highveld Lions produced a inspired bowling display to defend 139 against the power packed Delhi Daredevils and with it advance to the grand finale of the CLT20. The Lions' undying spirit, much like the raging winds at Durban, refuse to cease. Chris Morris(2-7) and Aaron Phangiso(2-18), who is almost predestined to have an IPL contract in his hands next year wreaked havoc on Delhi's listless reply,knocking the only remaining IPL team out of the lucrative tournament. While Delhi's semi-final jinx continued, the conspicious absence of Mahela Jaywardene loomed large as a taking point. Earlier in the day, the Lions recovered admirably from a sluggish start to make a middling total that eventually turned out to be more than sufficient thanks to their crack bowling attack. The batting edifice was built on Ghulam Bodi's fifty and Neil McKenzie's priceless death overs nitro-boost that earned him the Man of the Match award. Though wickets kept tumbling around him, Kevin Petersen scored a fifty of his own to add some semblance of respectabilty to Delhi's batting-sheet.

The Delhi Daredevils began the first semi-final on an auspicious note, winning the toss and electing to bowl first against local favorites Highveld Lions at Durban on a blustery Thursday afternoon.

Mahela Jayawardene, who gave himself a breather in the inconsequential rain ruined encounter against Titans voluntarily relegated himself to the sidelines once again to pave way for Blonde Bomber, David Warner. The switch also implied that the captaincy baton was passed over to Ross Taylor. Alviro Petersen's Lions retained the eleven that narrowly beat Yorkshire en route to this marquee semi-final clash. A heavy threat of rain and thundershowers was hanging over this match as has been the case with many others.

The Lions' openers struggled early on to impose themselves on a tricky pitch with bounce that was steep and spongy. Morne Morkel in particular set the ball rolling, handcuffing Alviro Petersen and Ghulam Bodi with chin music. After a quiet 4 overs, Petersen undertook some calculated risks to inject life into the comatose scoring rate. However, Birthday boy Umesh Yadav cut short his innings in the very next over, a wicket-maiden. Petersen was out caught behind for a 19-ball-24.

Umesh could have also consumed Quinton de Kock had Unmukht Chand not misjudged a regulation catch at deep mid-wicket. Chand though atoned for the fault by hanging on to a tougher chance to send his fellow U-19 star packing, this time off  Ajit Agarkar. Lions were looking more like helpless cubs as Pawan Negi plunged into the action, undoing Dwaine Pretorious(3) in the 11th over with his arm ball.

Deciding enough was enough, the talented Bodi and the vastly experienced Neil McKenzie combined well in 59 run alliance to repair the innings.They manipulated the strike efficiently besides finding that odd hit to the fence. The pair looted 10 off Agarkar's final over to erase his parsimonious first spell. The southpaw rang in his third half-century of the tournament before he fell to Yadav. Interestingly, Bodi has a contract with Delhi in the IPL. Despite the loss of Bodi and Symes(0), McKenzie executed a few flowy boundaries to set a 140 run target for the Daredevils. Indeed, Mckenzie benefited from the successive reprieves he recieved in the penultimate over of the innings.

Delhi started their chase in a wobbly fashion with Sohail Tanvir dismissing Virender Sehwag for an appalling first ball duck. That did not deter Warner  and Kevin Petersen from playing their shots. KP shuffling across the crease tried to rattle the bowlers. His straight drive past Dirk Nannes had imperious written all over it. Just before the conclusion of the mandatory powerplay, Chris Morris netted the prize scalp of Warner(21). The South Welshman's mistimed short-arm-jab was easily grasped by the bowler himself.

The spin twins, Aaron Phangiso and Jean Symes slowed down things further, thereby triggering the alarm bells in the Delhi dugout. The pressure told as Pretorious caused Chand to hole out in the deep. Chand resembled a cat on a hot tinned roof during his 20-ball-9. Both Irfan Pathan(1) and Ross Taylor(1) failed to fire, leaving Delhi at 76-5 from 14 overs.

The roaring Lions delivered the death knell after Thami Tsolekile pouched a skier off the bowling of Morris to see the back of KP(50). The manner in which Alviro Petersen marshaled his troops was simply commendable. The only consolation for Delhi was that they manged to bat out 20 overs sans getting skittled out. At the end of the day, every Delhi fan had to admit that Mahela Jaywardene's artistry was missed.

The Highveld Lions will now move to Johannesburg where they await the victors of the second semi-final between the hitherto unbeaten Sydney Sixers and Nashua Titans. The final is slated to blast off on Super Sunday.

Teams:

Highveld Lions: A Petersen(c), G Bodi, N McKenzie, Q de Kock, D Pretorious, T Tsolekile(wk), J Symes, C Morris, D Nannes, S Tanvir, A Phangiso

Delhi Daredevils: V Sehwag, D Warner, K Petersen, U Chand, R Taylor(c), I Pathan, N Ojha(wk), A Agarkar, P Negi, U Yadav, M Morkel

Mini-Scorecard:

Highveld Lions: 139-5 (20 overs, 6.95 rpo)
G Bodi 50(49) U Yadav 2-20
N McKenzie 46*(28) P Negi 1-21

Delhi Daredevils: 117-9( 20 overs, 5.85 rpo)
K Petersen 50(44) C Morris 2-7
D Warner 21(18) A Phangiso 2-18

Highveld Lions won by 22 runs to progress to the final