Quinton de Kock slammed an unbeaten 63-ball 109 to help Highveld Lions to 167 for for four in their 20 overs against the Otago Volts in their Group A encounter of the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2013 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Sunday.
His knock was dominated by powerful leg-side pulls and shots straight down the ground. He smashed 10 boundaries and five huge sixes in his unbeaten century brought up in 60 balls and took Lions to a competitive total after being in a shaky position.
Earlier, in the day, Otago skipper Brendon McCullum won the toss and, with clouds looming large over the sky, elected to field first.
Lions came into the match without the experienced Neil McKenzie,who was down with stomach cramps that he suffered while training in the gym earlier in the day. Aaron Phangiso, who has been out of sorts in the tournament, was dropped for the match. On the other hand, Otago Volts, who are on an unbeaten streak of 14 matches, didn’t make any changes to their playing X! From the previous match.
The pace and bounce in the pitch suited perfectly to the likings of both the teams. With overcast conditions, the seamers got good swing in the air. However, instead of taking advantage of the situation and pitching it fuller, Otago bowlers got carried away with the bounce and bowled short. Lions, surprisingly, were cautious and didn’t put the bad deliveries away. They got off to a steady start, managing 31 runs without losing a wicket during the powerplay overs.
Just when they started playing aggressive cricket, Rassie van der Dussen was trapped in front of the wicket in the eighth over. Although there wasn’t much assistance in the pitch for spinners, Nathan McCullum proved effective as he maintained a tight line. Mid-way trhough the innings, Lions were well positioned at 59 for one with a perfect platform for a late flourish.
However, in a bid to up the tempo, Bavuma danced down the track, but was beaten by Nick Beard’s flight and was cleverly stumped by Boorder. Beard followed it up with a faster full delivery to trap Lions skipper Alviro Petersen leg-before. Although he missed a hat-trick, Otago put in complete command after they reduced Lions to 73 for three in 12 overs. However, even as batsmen were struggling at one end, de Kock continued to score runs at ease as he brought up his half-century off 38 balls.
During the course of the innings, de Kock was dropped while batting on 48 when he mistimed a sweep which looped in the air and Bear was well positioned to take it at square leg, before making a mess of it.
De Kock took complete advantage of the dropped catch as he slammed Beard for 21 runs in the 16th over. Symes, too soon joined the act with a six off the first ball of Ian Butler’s third over.
One of the highlights of the innings was Otago’s energy on the field, which saved them quite a few handy runs.
Highveld Lions 167 for 4 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 109*, John Symes 20; Nick Beard 2 for 31) vs Otago Volts.
(Aayush Puthran is a reporter with CricketCountry. Mercurially jovial, pseudo pompous, perpetually curious and occasionally confused, he is always up for a light-hearted chat over a few cups of filter kaapi!)