Michael Hussey (above) scored 27 and Aditya Tare scored 37. These were the only two notable innings in the Mumbai Indians innings © PTI (File Photo)
Michael Hussey (above) scored 28 and Aditya Tare scored 37. These were the only two notable innings in the Mumbai Indians innings © PTI (File Photo)

By Abhijit Banare

Sep 13, 2014

Lahore Lions bowled brilliantly to restrict defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) to 135 for seven in the second match of the qualifiers in the Champions League T20 2014 (CLT20) at Raipur of Saturday. It was a fragmented performance from Mumbai with Michael Hussey’s 28 and Aditya Tare’s 37 being the only noteworthy contributions.

The previous match at the same venue between had given a hint that the dew was going to make a difference. Hence the team winning the toss was predictably going to bowl. Mohammad Hafeez won the toss and apart from electing to bowl also made an interesting statement. He backed his fast bowlers to succeed here though the previous match had showed that it wasn’t the best choice. But Hafeez’s choice combined with Mumbai’s batting woes gave Lahore a good start.

Mumbai Indians top-order troubles continued from the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. They lost as many as three wickets inside the powerplay making it difficult for them to stage a comeback. In the absence of their main batsman Rohit Sharma, Mumbai lacked enough depth.

Though Imran Ali and Aizaz Cheema started off with an erratic line, they soon got back in to rhythm. Cheema in particular bowled an excellent spell which helped Lahore wrestle control of the match. He managed to keep Lendl Simmons — the star of MI’s IPL 2014 campaign — quiet which eventually led to Simmons charging down and gifting his wicket away. Within no time, Mumbai were two down as a nervous Jalaj Saxena departed for a golden duck playing a tentative shot.

With no Rohit, it was time for in-form Ambati Rayudu to first negate the hat-trick bowl against Cheema and then resurrect the innings. He did well to defend the hat-trick ball but three balls later charged down and was caught behind off the bowling of Asif Raza. At 23 for three on a good batting wicket, Hussey had a lot of hard work to do.

Hussey, along with Tare then built a good partnership scoring briskly. Tare looked a bit rusty but soon got in to the groove while Hussey continued to be calm and found the gaps rotating the strike and picking the occasional boundaries. His timing was immaculate too and it was visible when he hit Mohammad Hafeez for a six over wide long-off in the ninth over. Tare followed with one more maximum in the next over.

Just when they were looking good, Wahab Riaz came in to bowl and found the edge of Hussey. He shared a 44-run partnership with Tare. It was up to the last recognised pair of skipper Kieron Pollard and Tare to boost the score towards the end. But the Lions bowlers were in no mood to give away easy runs.

Along with Pollard, even Tare was tested with a few short balls but he was up to the task securing two sixes off short-pitched stuff. We never know whether Pollard has enough luck to fuel a win for Mumbai but he was extremely lucky while batting. Off-spinner Adnan Rasool troubled him and Pollard barely survived on a number of deliveries. His wicket was intact but he had consumed a lot of deliveries with Mumbai already lagging behind. Mumbai’s woes increased when Imran Ali castled Pollard with a yorker.

Mumbai had taken 52 deliveries for the first fifty and 47 for the second which shows the lack of momentum. Riaz came back to remove Tare for 37 in the end. Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar played a few big shots but couldn’t make a big difference.

Brief scores:

Mumbai Indians 135 for 7 in 20 overs (Michael Hussey 28, Aditya Tare 27; Wahab Riaz 2 for 31, Aizaz Cheema 2 for 22) vs Lahore Lions.

Full Scorecard

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 2014 here

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)