Highveld Lions hold on to record surprise victory
The Highveld Lions held on to record a 9 run victory over the Mumbai Indians despite a another brilliant Twenty20 innings from Sachin Tendulkar who thrilled the crowd with an impressive half century.
With Tendulkar in fine form the Indians looked capable of chasing down the Lions big total of 186-5 but when the Indian legend was bowled by Shane Burger the home side could sense a surprise victory at the Wanderers.
Faced with such a large run chase the Indians got off to a perfect start with Sachin Tendulkar and Shikhar Dhawan sharing an opening stand of 83 which put the pressure on the Lions who were unable to halt the flow of runs.
The partnership came from just 59 deliveries cancelling out any advantage the Lions had after Vandiar and McKenzie had scored impressive half centuries earlier on.
With the pressure mounting on the home side Aaron Phangiso finally made a break though dismissing Dhawan (32) at the end of the 9th over thanks to a brilliant catch by Richard Cameron.
Ambati Rayudu (3) quickly followed after he was run to leave the Indians 89-2 but with Tendulkar still at the crease the Indians would have felt pretty comfortable chasing down a total of 98 from just 55 deliveries.
Despite the lose of two quick wickets Tendulkar continued his superb innings; bringing up his half century with a cover drove through point off the finally delivery of the 11th over to set up a thrilling finish.
Tendulkar quickly followed but with JP Duminy and Kieron Pollard at the crease the Indians were still well placed to chase down the victory.
After staring with the bat for Trinidad and Tobago during last years Twenty20 Champions League in India; Pollard showed once again why he is one of the best Twenty20 players in the world.
The West Indies all rounder wasted little time getting into the action smashing 19 runs from just 9 balls including 16 runs in the 17th off the bowling of Burger.
Pollards blitz left the Indians needing just 32 runs from 19 balls but Burger hit back with a perfect yorker from his final delivery of the game to knock over Pollards middle stump to leave the Indians 156-4.
With Pollard gone Rajagopal Sathish came to the crease to partner Duminy but the pair were unable to score the 31 runs required to seal an amazing victory.
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.
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.