New Zealand’s Northern Knights defeated Mumbai Indians by six wickets at Raipur in the last qualifier of the Champions League Twenty20 as they moved into the main round with Lahore Lions.
Mumbai were sent in to bat first by Knights as the dew factor was supposed to ruin the show for the latter bowling team. Tim Southee and Trent Boult opened the Knights’ attack with quality seam bowling. Scott Styris later joined the show for an experienced performance.
Captain Keiron Pollard then walked in to show some resistance and smashed a six and two boundaries for his 31 but he was accounted by Southee in the 17th over. Tail-enders Shreyas Gopal (24) and Lasith Malinga (20) added some decency to Mumbai total of 132-9.
Pollard said: “Most teams, when they come to India they want to beat Mumbai Indians so they bring their A game. [Knights] fielded well, we could have had 150-160. They could have relaxed but they didn’t, that’s their professionalism.”
In reply, Knights easily chased the target with the help of an 83-run opening stand provided by Anton Devcich (39) and Kane Williamson (53). Captain Daniel Flynn (13) and Daryll Mitchell (16) also made small contributions.
Man-of-the-match Williamson said in the post-match presentation ceremony: “We started off the competition a bit shaky [with our fielding], but we knew we are a good fielding outfit and it was great to put up a good display in the last two games.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2014.
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