Southee sinks Lahore Lions

New Zealand

The Lahore Lions avoided the lowest total in the history of the Champions League Twenty20, but ultimately slumped to a poor 72-run defeat at the hands of the Northern Districts – in Sunday's key qualifying fixture at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur.

The Lahore Lions avoided the lowest total in the history of the Champions League Twenty20, but ultimately slumped to a poor 72-run defeat at the hands of the Northern Districts – in Sunday's key qualifying fixture at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur.

Struggling on 37 for seven, the Lions were in danger of perishing for less than the 70 all out endured by the Central Districts against Wayamba at St George's Park during the 2010 edition of the CLT20.

A standalone half-century from the defiant Saad Nasim, however, pushed Lahore to a respectable, albeit in sufficient, 98 all out in 18 overs. The Northern Districts, earlier, climbed to a formidable 170 for six on the back of quickfire half-centuries from New Zealand internationals Daniel Flynn and BJ Watling.

Fast bowler Tim Southee was a the fore of the dismantling of the Lions, who 24 hours earlier had upstaged the Mumbai Indians. Southee clinched fine figures of three for 22 in four telling overs – and the Man of the Match award.

"Our bowlers didn't bowl well, the New Zealanders batted well. They scored 170 on a pitch like that, we didn't play smart cricket. We didn't bowl at the right areas, we lost early wickets and we couldn't recover. We have to improve, fielding is one of the areas we must do better in," lamented defeated skipper Mohammad Hafeez.

The result all but booked the Northern Districts' graduation to the tournament proper. Sunday's second and final fixture will see Mumbai clash with Southern Express at the same venue.

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