Neil McKenzie and Quinton de Kock showed exactly how to construct a chase - putting on a brilliant 121-run partnership from just 12 overs to guide the Highveld Lions to a convincing eight-wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Neil McKenzie (L) scored an impressive unbeaten half-century to help the Highveld Lions to an eight-wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians in the Champions League T20
With the loss, the Indians became the second-straight IPL team to lose their game on Sunday, after the Chennai Super Kings' loss to the Sydney Sixers in the earlier match.
Needing 158 runs to win, the Lions went about their chase in an extremely intelligent and composed manner, after the initial start suggested the home team might struggle against their more higher-profile opponents.
The openers Gulam Bodi and captain Alviro Peterson were far from convincing in the opening six overs - but that is the difference in South Africa from the sub-continent, where ensuring you do not lose wickets in the powerplay overs is more important than scoring runs.
The openers got out with the score reading 37 for two from 6.5 overs - Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga picking up the two wickets, and Mumbai seemingly in control.
However, after that it was all about the Lions as the 36-year-old McKenzie partnered-up with teenager De Kock to put on an unbeaten match-winning partnership.
The duo kept their heads, picking their singles and rotating the strike, to ensure the run rate never got out of hand. With 14 overs gone, McKenzie and De Kock - both well set and primed for an onslaught - stepped up a couple of gears, scoring 64 runs from just 4.5 overs to eventually seal the run chase with seven balls to spare.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians threatened to put on a big score with quite a few of their batsmen reaching double figures, but failing to kick on and make that game-changing innings to spur their team to a challenging total.
Dwayne Smith, typically, started aggressively, smashing six fours in his 19-ball stay for 26. Sachin Tendulkar, however, struggled to find any momentum - left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso troubling the Little Master and eventually ending his 24-ball stay, which yielded only 16 runs.
Phangiso finished with extremely impressive figures of one for 17 from his four overs, while T20 specialist Dirk Nannes gave a measly 15 runs from his 24 balls, also picking up the crucial wicket of Rohit Sharma (27 from 27).
At the end of the day, the Mumbai Indians just failed to find that vital momentum in any part of their innings - the IPL team's strategy of sending in Mitchell Johnson (30 from 29) at no.4 not really working out - as the defending champions ended up on a sub-par 157 for six, which eventually proved an easily surmountable target for the Lions.
Mumbai Indians' loss also means, after the opening two days, only one IPL team - the Delhi Daredevils have managed to pull off a win, a statistic that the rest of the three squads will be desperate to change.
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