Highveld Lions Reach CLT20 Final By Beating Delhi
Highveld Lions 139-7 (Bodi 50) beat
Delhi Daredevils 117-9 (Pietersen 50) by 22 runs
CLT20 semi-final, Durban
Highveld Lions defeated Delhi Daredevils by 22 runs in the first semi-final of the Champions League Twenty20 at a windy Kindsmead Stadium in Durban.
Conditions made it hard for batting but also tricky for the bowlers and fielders and Lions' score of 139 for seven proved to be a winning one when Delhi limped to 117 for nine in reply.
Only two batsmen could score half-centuries as both Gulam Bodi (Lions) and Kevin Pietersen (Daredevils) managed exactly 50 before departing.
One of the differences between the two sides was that whereas Bodi's effort was well supported by his team-mates, Pietersen was not. He was one of just three players in the Indian Premier League side to make it to double figures.
Chris Morris was outstanding with the ball for Lions, returning figures of two for seven in four overs while Dirk Nannes (2-34) and Aaron Phangiso (2-18) maintained their form to also take a brace of wickets.
The game provided some fascinating match-ups as Morne Morkel took on some of his international team-mates as David Warner was brought into Delhi's team to replace Mahela Jayawardene.
Ross Taylor skippered, winning the toss and choosing to bowl although Lions quickly got onto the front foot as Petersen hti 24 in 19 balls and Bodi 50 in 49 before both fell to Umesh Yadav, who ended with two for 20.
After Ajit Agarkar had Quinton de Kock caught for 11 and Dwaine Pretorius (3) was dismissed by Pawan Negi, Lions had Neil McKenzie come to their rescue with a typically resourceful 46 not out in 28 balls. Delhi's fielders struggled a little in the gusty conditions, allowing McKenzie a couple of lives; discretions they would later come to regret.
The evidence of this tournament so far proves that 139 is a defendable score and although at one point Delhi were looking relatively comfortable with Warner hitting 21 in 18 balls and Pietersen dominating the attack en route to 50 in 44 balls, the Lions quickly turned the game around.
They had struck early to remove Virender Sehwag without scoring but Warner's assault knocked them back. He fell to a good caught and bowled by Morris, who also removed Pietersen in the 17th over as he completed his wonderful spell.
Unmukt Chand (9), Irfan Pathan (1), Taylor (1), Naman Ojha (7), Negi (0) and Agarkar (2) all failed to give Pietersen any kind of support as Lions created the chances and held their catches to hasten Delhi's demise.
Morne Morkel struck one six that measured 113 metres on the way to 18 not out in 16 balls but after being reduced to 92 for eight when Pietersen fell, there was no way back for the Daredevils, who are still unable to shake the nasty habit of making it to knockout stages of competitions but going no further as well as failing to show their best when it matters most.
Lions, however, used all of the home advantage effectively and now play the winners of Sydney Sixers v Nashua Titans at their usual home ground of the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
© Cricket World 2012
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