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14-Sep-2014 14:09:00 GMT
Northern Knights v Lahore Lions, CLT20, Raipur

Bowlers Leads Knights to Easy Win

Raipur: After an impressive debut in the Champions League T20 with a convincing win over defending champions Mumbai Indians, Lahore Lions were looking at early qualification into the league stages of the competition.

Instead, they were blown away by Northern Districts, who handed them a 72-run defeat at Raipur, effectively putting one foot in the door of qualification.

Half-centuries from Daniel Flynn and BJ Watling had taken Northern Knights to 170 for 6 after Lions skipper Mohammad Hafeez invited them in to bat on Sunday afternoon. While on Saturday the Lions had displayed patience under pressure, the Northern Knights bowlers too much for the international-class Pakistani side, who were bundled out for 98 with two overs remaining.

A tricky chase was made tougher when Tim Southee and Trent Boult left the Lions searching for answers in the first six overs, reducing them to 19 for 5.

Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed was sent back with a swinging yorker from Southee for 5 in the second over, while Boult had Ahmed Shehzad caught behind in the next over for 2. Hafeez's injudicious charge down the track to Southee ended his five-ball stay before Umar Akmal - completing a star-studded top four - was bowled by Boult who was finding appreciable movement both ways.

Only Saad Nasim (58 off 40-balls) went into double figures for the Lions as wickets continued to tumble throughout their innings, and while on the field the Lions fielders dropped plenty of chances, the Knights lifted the standards exemplified by Tim Southee's effort on the boundary.

Asif Raza got enough bat on a Scott Styris delivery until Southee came under it, took the catch with his foot inches inside the boundary rope, and threw it to the incoming Daryl Mitchell to complete the dismissal. Raza was understandably shell-shocked, but that expression had been written across the faces of the Lions players much before that dismissal.

Despite a shaky start earlier that saw the Knights lose both their openers early, Flynn (53, 30b, 5x4, 1x6) and Watling (53, 37b, 7x4, 1x6) combined for 90-run fourth-wicket stand to take the Knights to a competitive score.

Kane Williamson, star of the Knights' opening win with a quickfire half-century, was out inside the batting Powerplay, after Asif Raza had removed captain Anton Devcich in the third over of the innings. Hafeez accounted for Daniel Harris for 20, but Flynn and Watling ensured no further damage for the next 10 overs, before Aizaz Cheema's (3 for 35) late burst kept the Knights in check.

Both teams came in unchanged for their second match of the Champions League T20 qualifiers, but a rousing bowling performance from the Northern Knights ensured they kept the momentum going into the final round of Tuesday's qualification matches.

Earlier, Lahore Lions have won the toss and have opted to field.


Northern Knights:
Daniel Flynn (Capt.), Anton Devcich, Daniel Harris, Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, Scott Styris, BJ Watling (wk), Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult

Lahore Lions: Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez (Capt.), Umar Akmal (wk), Umar Siddiq, Saad Nasim, Imran Ali, Aizaz Cheema, Adnan Rasool, Asif Raza, Wahab Riaz

Brief scores
Northern Knights -
170/6 (Flynn 53, Watling 53, Cheema 3-35)
Lahore Lions - 98 (Nasim 58, Southee 3-22, Boult 2-12, Sodhi 2-30)
Result - Northern Knights won by 72 runs
Points - Northern Knights 4, Lahore Lions 0
MOM - Tim Southee (Northern Knights)

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