Champions League T20
Sydney too strong for Lions
Shane Watson (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Highveld Lions' matchwinning streak came to an abrupt end when they suffered a five-wicket defeat at the hands of the Australian outfit, the Sydney Sixers, in their Champions League Twenty20 Group B match at Newlands on Thursday.Full scorecard
It was the Lions' first defeat in three matches and they would have to wait for their next match against Yorkshire on Saturday to nail down their semi-final berth, with the Sixers becoming the first team to seal a semi-final berth.
The Sixers started solidly chasing a winning target of 138, as Michael Lumb and Shane Watson added 60 runs in nine overs for the first-wicket.
However, their charge was abruptly halted when spinner Aaron Phangiso was brought on and immediately captured the wickets of Lumb (22), Dominic Thornely (0) in the eigth over.
Three overs later he claimed the all important wicket of Watson (47), to leave the Sixers reeling on 73 for four.
It was an inspirational spell by Phangiso, who took three for 14 off his four overs, but the Sixers were still left with a relatively easy task of closing the match with some experienced batsmen to come.
Sixers skipper Brad Haddin restored the status quo with some big hitting that included three sixes and a four in his 32-run knock, which effectively put the side within a whisker of victory, and it eventually came with an over to spare at 141 for five off 19 overs.
Earlier, the Lions were sent into bat after they lost the toss, and this was their first chance in three matches to set a target rather than their preferred run chase.Gulam Bodi
anchored the innings for the greater part of the 20 overs and could only stand and watch as five batting partners return to the dressing room.
The only partnersip of note during that period was one of 32 for the second-wicket with Quinton de Kock.
The other noteworthy partnership, which kept the Lions' scoreboard ticking over, was a fith-wicket stand of 29 between Bodi and Jean Symes.
However, Bodi's role came to an end one ball into the 18th over with his score on 61 (44 balls, 4x4s, 3x6s) and the total on 120 for five.
It was left to in-form Symes to step up the tempo, but he failed to come to the party and was dismissed five balls later give Mitchell Starc his third scalp of the innings to finish with three for 19.
Starc was splendidly supported by medium-fast pacemen Josh Hazlewood (2/18) and Shane Watson (2/25).
Together the trio restricted the Lions to a fairly modest total of 137 for nine after 20 overs.
Lions: Gulam Bodi
, Alviro Petersen (captain), Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie
, Jean Symes, Thami Tsolekile
(wicketkeeper), Zander de Bruyn, Chris Morris, Sohail Tanvir, Aaron Phangiso, Dirk NannesSydney Sixers:
Michael Lumb, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (captain & wicketkeeper), Dominic Thornely, Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinsonr, Steve O'Keefe, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood