Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Lahore Lions wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal blasted a quickfire 38 to help his side breeze past the Mumbai Indians by six wickets in Raipur.
Lahore captain Mohammad Hafeez would have been delighted with his decision to bowl first after Mumbai opener Lendl Simmons was caught by Wahab Riaz at mid-off off the bowling of Aizaz Cheema for seven runs.
Cheema struck again the very next ball when Jalaj Saxena was caught by Nasir Jamshed at first slip for a golden duck.
Ambati Rayudu only made three runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Asif Raza.
Michael Hussey managed to make 28 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Riaz.
Mumbai skipper Kieron Pollard failed to save his team as he was clean bowled by Ali.
Aditya Tare top-scorer with 37, which came off 36 balls and included two boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught by Adnan Rasool at midwicket off the bowling of Riaz.
Harbhajan Singh made a quickfire 18 before he was run out by Jamshed.
Thanks to Praveen Kumar’s knock of 20, Mumbai finished on 135/7 off their 20 overs.
Cheema and Riaz picked up two wickets apiece, while Raza and Ali chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 136 to win, Lahore got off to an excellent start as Ahmed Shehzad and Jamshed amassed a 51-run partnership before Shehzad was caught by Pollard at long-on off the bowling of Pragyan Ojha for 34.
Jamshed went on to score 26 runs before he was stumped by Tare off the bowling of Singh.
Saad Nasim only made six runs before he was caught by Saxena at midwicket off the bowling of Ojha.
Hafeez mustered 18 runs before he was caught by Hussey at cover off the bowling of Pollard.
Akmal and Raza finished things off with an unbeaten 39-run partnership.
Akmal hammered 38 off 18 balls, which included four boundaries and two sixes, while Raza remained undefeated on 14 off seven deliveries, which included two boundaries.
Ojha was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Singh and Pollard claimed one wicket each.
Pollard was gutted to have lost the match, and said: “We weren’t able to get early wickets, but we pulled it back in the middle. Can’t fault the bowlers, but with a wet ball, we should have made more runs, Ojha bowled well, Bhajji bowled well, the pressure is on us. We have never won the Champions League easily, it is important that we bring our A-game tomorrow.”
Hafeez was thrilled with his team’s performance, and said: “I think the bowlers did their job, the later overs were very good, everyone bowled well. The target…I knew one good partnership would make the difference, and Umar Akmal was exceptional.”
Akmal was named Man of the Match.