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Vandiar half century lights up the Wanderers

Jonathan Vandiar scored a wonderful half century to help the Highveld Lions set an imposing total of 186-5 against the Mumbai Indians in the opening game in this years Twenty20 Champions League.

The opening batsman stared with the bat smashing 4 fours and 3 sixes in a wonderful innings of 71 which came from just 48 deliveries against a Indian bowling attack who failed to shine.

Having been put into bat by the Indians; the Lions got off to a positive start thanks to an opening partnership of 24 between Vandiar and Alviro Petersen; who looked untroubled at the crease against the Indians opening bowlers.

Having seen off Ryan McLaren and Zaheer Khan; Petersen (12) was run out at the start of the 3rd over after a massive mix up between the two batsmen which left both players at the keepers end after Petersen tried in vain to turn down Vandiarís call of a single.

With both players unsure who was out the umpires called for the third umpire who decided Petersen was a fraction behind Vandiar grounding his bat in the crease.

Richard Cameron (9) quickly followed but a third wicket partnership of 43 between Vandiar and Vaughn van Jaarsveld turned the game in the Lions favor before van Jaarsveld (13) was dismissed by Lasith Malinga at the end of the 10th over which left the Lions 81-3.

Despite the lose of van Jaarsveld; Vandiar continued his blitzing of the Indians bowlers with the opener bringing up his half century with a huge six off the bowing of Rajagopal Sathish in the 13th over.

With the pressure mounting the runs continued to flow with Kieron Pollard, JP Duminy and Sathish all proving costly during the middle overs of the innings which saw the Indians conceded 53 runs from just 36 balls.

With 5 overs to go the Lions were well placed to set the Indians a big run chase but the IPL franchise struck back with Malinga (3-33) picking up two wickets in the space of 4 balls to leave the home side 147-5.

Vandiar was the first to go thanks to a smart piece of fielding from Tendulkar who held onto a diving catch at mid-on before Robert Frylinck (1) was bowled from the final delivery of the 16th over.

With Vandiar gone the Indians could have imposed themselves on the game but a combination of poor fielding and some big hitting from Neil McKenzie (56) left the 2009 Indian Premier League runners-up a mammoth run chase.

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