Johannesburg: The Champions League T20 is turning out to be a nightmare for the big guns.
First, on Saturday, IPL champions the Kolkata Knight Riders lost. Then, in the first match of Sunday, IPL-V runners-up the Chennai Super Kings were beaten by the Sydney Sixers. And if that was not enough bad news for the Indians, 2011 CLT20 champions Mumbai Indians suffered an eight-wicket thrashing at the hands of the Highveld Lions.
Chasing the 158-run target, veteran Neil McKenzie and Quinton de Kock shared an unbeaten 121-run stand to see the home side through. While McKenzie remained unconquered on a 41-ball 68, De Kock was unbeaten on a 33-ball 51.
The Mumbai Indians’ bowlers made a confident start, courtesy Mitchell Johnson and Lasith Malinga. But as the game progressed, the two South Africans were the ones who gained in confidence. Captain Harbhajan Singh picked up a wicket, giving away 36 runs from his four overs, but he never looked threatening enough. The target was achieved by the South Africans with seven balls to spare.
Earlier, the Mumbai Indians posted a challenging 157 for six. Sent into bat, they had some useful contributions from their batsmen. Also helping Harbhajan’s side to a great extent was the 24 extras conceded by the Lions.
"We need to play better cricket. There was a bit of dew, but we can't complain about that. I think we were 20 runs short," Harbhajan said in the post-match presentation ceremony. Harbhajan was also of the opinion that his batsmen failed to attack the Lions spinners.