Bangalore, Sep 30 :
Perth Scorchers upset Lahore Lions’ calculations as they came back from the dead to post a three-wicket victory here Tuesday and the result earned Chennai Super Kings a berth in the semi-finals of the Oppo Champions League T20 tournament.
The Lions, on six points going into the match, needed a big win to not only tie with Chennai Super Kings, but also pip them on Net Run Rate (NRR), but it proved to be a mission impossible.
Thus, in the semi-finals Thursday in Hyderabad, the Kolkata Knight Riders take on Hobart Hurricanes and Chennai Super Kings face Kings XI Punjab. The final will be played here Saturday.
Lahore Lions, who made 124 for six batting first, needed to contain the Scorchers to 78 or less and get ahead of Super Kings on NRR. The Pakistani outfit came within a whisker of achieving it, but their hopes were dashed in the 14th over bowled by off-spinner Adnan Rasool who conceded 16 runs as the Scorchers’ total crossed 78.
Scorchers were at one stage 40 for six, their batsmen all at sea against the Lions spinners, but a calm skipper Mitchell Marsh (63 not out, 7×4, 2×6), who had taken 2 for 12, denied the Pakistanis as he put on a match-winning partnership of 68 runs with veteran Brad Hogg (28 not out) for the eighth wicket to take his team to victory.
The Lions did extremely well defending a modest total by having the Scorchers on the mat at 40 for six wickets, five of them claimed by the spinners. But Marsh and Hogg turned the match around for the Aussie team with sensible batting, something that was missing in the Lions ranks.
The Lions have to thank Saad Nasim (69 not out, 55b, 7×4, 1×6) and his two partnerships with Umar Akmal (26) and Mohammed Saeed (20) for saving their blushes and reaching 124 for six.
The Lions lost the plot in the first few overs after being put in to bat as they lost four quick wickets to some thoughtless strokes and were four for 11 in the fourth over.
Thereafter, it was left to Nasim and Akmal to repair the damage with a 43-run partnership before the latter departed, falling to the crafty Hogg.
Nasim found a willing partner in Mohammed Saeed (20) as the pair put on 48 runs for the sixth wicket, but it proved all too little too late.
A 14-run final over helped the Lions to inflate their total to 124, leaving themselves a near-impossible task of restricting the Scorchers to under 78 for a ticket to the semi-finals.
Lahore Lions 124 for 6 in 20 overs (Saad Nasim 69 not out, Umar Akmal 26, Mohammed Saeed 20, Joel Paris 3 for 22, Mitchell Marsh 2 for 12) lost to Perth Scorchers 130 for 7 in 19 overs (Cameron Bancroft 22, Mitchell Marsh 63 not out, Brad Hogg 28 not out, Mohammad Hafeez 2 for 8, Mustafa Iqbal 2 for 20) by 3 wickets.