RAIPUR: Mohammad Hafeez had tried to portray Lahore Lions as the underdog, saying he would be content if his team played to potential and enjoyed themselves. As the match wore on however, it was revealed to be a ruse as a bowling line-up that looked fit for an international team confounded Mumbai Indians.
A target of 136 would not bother most T20 champions and Lahore Lions, who had won the Faysal Bank T-20 in 2014, had Ahmed Shehzad at the top and Umar Akmal during the finish to guide them home and leave the defending champions with a tougher path for their place in the main draw.
The top order had been a point of concern through the IPL for Mumbai and those same concerns followed them to the Champions League. Aizaz Cheema’s nagging lines forced Mumbai to slip from a sedate 20 for 0 in the third over to 23 for 3 in the fourth.
Cheema sucked Lendl Simmons was into mid-off’s hands for 7. Jalaj Saxena, on debut for Mumbai, was on the receiving end of a lovely outswinger and edged to slip the very next ball. The hat-trick was denied by Ambati Rayudu, but an optimistic single could have caused problems had Wahab Riaz nailed the throw at the non-strikers’ end. Lions were not hurt badly by that missed opportunity when Rayudu’s swat to midwicket fostered an edge to the keeper.
Michael Hussey attempted a fightback but Lions never allowed Mumbai off the hook.