Lions falter; CSK through

Super Kings in semifinals after Pakistan side's defeat to Scorchers

Lions falter; CSK through

Needing a big win to enter semifinals of the Champions League T20 ahead of the Chennai Super Kings, Lahore Lions threatened to pull off miracle win at various stages at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Tuesday.  

Once Lions’ limped their way to 124 for six in 20 overs, it became mandatory for them restrict Perth Scorchers to 78 or less to attain a better net run-rate than Super Kings’ and seal a CLT20 semis berth. However, the Scorchers made 130 for seven to register a three-wicket win to bow out in style. Mitchell Marsh played the lead role with a fine unbeaten 63.

The lion-hearted spinners kept Lahorians in the hunt for a good part of the game, reducing Perth to 40 for six in the ninth over. Lions were in a formidable position with 38 more runs to defend against late order batsmen. The pitch too offered good amount of turn for their spinners and it seemed a canter for them at that point.

But first Marsh and then Brad Hogg snuffed out the embers of hope in Lions’ ranks. Marsh added 22 runs with Yasir Arafat for the seventh wicket as Perth reached 62 for six as desperation in Lions’ ranks reached a tipping point.

Arafat’s nervy run-out appeared to have opened. But Hogg took it upon himself the task of shutting the door on Lions. He off-spinner Adnan Rasool for two fours and a six in the 14th over of the innings as Scorchers moved past the danger mark of 78. Marsh and Hogg added 68 runs for the crucial eighth-wicket stand that tilted the match in favour of Scorchers.

The Super Kings players too would have heaved a sigh of relief when Hogg’s powerful hit sailed over long-on. Amidst the tense moments, there were also some comic elements in Scorchers’ innings such as umpire Rod Tucker denying an appeal against Sam Whiteman off Mohammad Hafeez.

The ball thudded into the hands of short-leg fielder after taking a healthy edge but Tucker refused to uphold the shout, insisting that he didn’t see the frame as the bowler blocked his view. Earlier, Saeed Nasim’s unbeaten 69 and his 48-run alliance for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Saeed helped Lions recover from a shaky start. But it wasn’t sufficient for Lions to achieve their goal.
Semifinal line-up: KKR vs Hurricanes; Kings XI Punjab vs Super Kings (both matches in Hyderabad).

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