Aizaz Cheema © Getty Images (File photo)
Aizaz Cheema took three wickets in four balls to rattle Southern Express’ chase © Getty Images (File photo)

By Sameer Jha

Southern Express’ miserable run of form in Champions League Twenty 20 (CLT20) continued against  Lahore Lions after they were bundled out for just 109 while chasing a target of 165. Lions’ will be pretty satisfied with their effort, but will have to depend on Northern Knights to beat Mumbai Indians in the next qualification match in order to make it to the tournament proper.

The Southern Express batsman had made a steady start to the chase, until Aizaz Cheema dismissed Kusal Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka in consecutive deliveries. 35-year-old Cheema didn’t stop there, and dismissed Tillakaratne Sampath shortly after to leave Sri Lanka’s domestic T20 champions reeling at 36/3.

Skipper Jehan Mubarak and Angelo Perera led their recovery and accumulated runs at a slow and steady rate. The required run rate was creeping up for them, and Mubarak went for a big shot, only to find himself being caught by (at the time Express had moved into the 80s which meant the Lions couldn’t equal MI in net run-rate) Umar Siddiq of Adnan Rasool‘s bowling. The SE batting-order imploded after his dismissal, and the team collapsed from 80/4 to 109 all-out.

Earlier, Southern Express had won the toss and had elected to field first. Lahore Lions’ openers made a steady start, but Farveez Maharoof took three quick wickets to leave the Lions whimpering at 52 for 3 at the end of 8 overs.

Saad Nasim and Mohammad Hafeez then combined to help the Lions recover, and patiently rotated the strike until the 15th over. In the 16th over, Mohammad Hafeez cut loose and hit three consecutive sixes off Seekkuge Prasanna. After that over, the Lions didn’t put their foot off the pedal and scored 50 more runs in the next four overs to help themselves to a total they were able to comfortably defend.

Brief scores:

Lahore Lions 164 for 6 in 20 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 67, Saad Nasim 31; Farveez Maharoof 3 for 28) vs Southern Express 109 (Jehan Mubarak 35, Tillakaratne Sampath 18; Aizaz Cheema 3 for 15)

Full Scorecard

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 2014 here