Otago 167-7 (Neesham 52no) beat
Lions 167-4 (de Kock 109no) on boundary count
Champions League T20, Group A Match, Jaipur
Lions somehow failed to score three runs off the final three balls of the Super Over and so lost to Otago on boundary count in what was just about as closely-contested a Champions League T20 match as it is possible to have. They are now out of the competition.
The main game ended in a tie after centurion Quinton de Kock had been unable to prevent Jimmy Neesham and Neil Wagner from scrambling a bye off the final ball. It was to be the first of two cruel blows for de Kock who, having hit the first two balls of the Super Over to the boundary to follow up his unbeaten 109, was at the crease as his side fell agonisingly short for the second time in minutes.
Neesham was the Otago batting star, ending on 52 off just 25 balls, as they scored 64 runs from the final 32 balls of their innings to force the tie-breaker. He was also the bowler when Lions looked to be waltzing home in the Super Over, but benefited from a loss of cool from the South Africans and emerged on the winning side. Otago hit 21 boundaries in their 21 overs compared to Lions’ tally of 20.
De Kock certainly didn’t deserve to end up on the losing side after batting throughout the Lions innings en route to 109 off only 63 balls. A measure of how important his knock was was the fact that Jean Symes’ 20 was the next highest score.
The 20 year-old hit five sixes and 10 fours during the second ton of his T20 career and would be left wishing his team-mates had managed to hit just a couple more boundaries between them a couple of hours later.
James McMillan returned the best figures by a Volts bowler, taking one for 23 from his four overs. The other wicket-takers were Neil Wagner (3-0-25-1) and left-arm spinner Nick Beard (3-0-31-2).
Otago then got off to a shaky start in their run chase, losing the influential pair of Neil Broom and Brendon McCullum within the first four overs. Hamish Rutherford dazzled briefly before becoming third man out for 32 off 21 balls and was soon followed by three more batsmen as the Volts slipped to 103 for six in the 15th over.
Imran Tahir and Lonwabo Tsotsobe did the bulk of the damage, taking two wickets each, while Hardus Viljoen returned respectable figures of one for 23 from his four overs.
It was left to all-rounder Neesham to play the kind of innings that de Kock had earlier for Lions. He smashed four sixes during his 25-ball stay but, unlike de Kock, would still be smiling come the end of the Super Over.
© Cricket World 2013