Johannesburg: Auckland Aces dished out a disciplined all-round performance to notch up a comfortable six-wicket victory over Sialkot Stallions in the qualifying match of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Tuesday.
Led by Kyle Mills (2/6), Ronnie Hira (2/36) and Andre Adams (2/21), Auckland restricted Sialkot Stallions to a modest 130 for nine in their stipulated 20 overs. Then they overhauled the target with 2.5 overs to spare.
For Auckland, opener Martin Guptill was the top-scorer with a fluent 32-ball 40-run innings, while Lou Vincent (20), Azhar Mahmood (24) and Anaru Kitchen (33 not out) made useful contributions.
Guptill, who hit five fours and a six, led the chase with a 32-run opening stand with Vincent, who smashed three fours and a six. After Vincent was dismissed, Guptill and Azhar put together a 51-run second wicket stand in 40 balls.
Earlier, Shahid Yousuf top-scored for the Stallions with a 25-ball 39 which was laced with three sixes and three boundaries. But the Stallions could not build partnerships and lost wickets in regular intervals.
The Stallions had a subdued start as Mills and Bates bowled in rhythm, giving away just 11 in the first five over. Bates brought the first breakthrough, dismissing opener Shakeel Ansar (1) in the second over when he had him caught at mid-on by Kitchen.
In the sixth over, Sialkot had a big over when Haris Sohail (12) hit Azhar for a six and a four and Nazir smashed another six at the fine leg region.
Adams, however, got rid off Haris in the next over and Azhar then reduced Sialkot to 30 for three when he dismissed Nazir. In pursuit of a big hit, Nazir ended up top-edging the ball to short third man.
Yousuf then joined skipper Shoaib Malik and took charge of the situation. He sent Adams for consecutive sixes over long off and deep square-leg respectively in the ninth over and then hit Colin Munro for a couple of boundaries to take Sialkot across the 50-mark.
But the Auckland bowlers affected the dismissals at regular intervals to restrict the Stallions. In another match, Yorkshire defeated Uva Next by five wickets. Chasing 151 for victory, Yorkshire completed the task with three balls to spare.
David Miller (39 not out) and Adil Rashid (36 not out) contributed well with the bat for the winners.
Opener Phil Jaques gave the chase right impetus after the early departure of skipper Andre Gale and Joe Root.
But after racing his way to 32 off 21 balls, Jaques offered a return catch to Dilshan Munaweera. Miller, who came back after retiring hurt, along with Rashid, then finished the job for Yorkshire, giving them hope of qualifying for the main tournament that kicks off on Saturday.
Sialkot Stallions 130/9 in 20 ovs (S. Yousuf 39; K. Mills 2/6). Auckland Aces 136/4 in 17.1 ovs (M. Guptill 40, A. Kitchen 33 .). Auckland Aces won by 6 wkts.
Uva Next 150/7 in 20 ovs (T.Kandamby 29 .., S. Chanderpaul 27). Yorkshire 151/5 in 19.3 ovs (D. Miller 39 .., A. Rashid 36 ..; D. Munaweera 3/32). Yorkshire won by 5 wkts. (Agencies)