Two blinders, and one that nearly was
Sydney Sixers' gaggle of young quicks had hurried Yorkshire's batsmen earlier in the day, and Sohail Tanvir and Dirk Nannes later showed, during their new-ball spells, that youth wasn't a prerequisite for pace. Faf du Plessis needed a change of bat when Tanvir got one to spit off a length and shatter his splice, and the same batsman was struck a painful blow on the elbow when he was beaten for pace by Nannes. But pace without direction is like a Ferrari without a steering wheel, so they say, and the Lions' new-ball pair disappeared for 82 in eight overs.
Aaron Phangiso has been one of the Lions' best bowlers in the tournament, and against Chennai Super Kings he showed that it's not just with a ball in his hand that he's a reliable performer. Chennai's openers were rocketing along at well over eight an over and a mountainous total loomed before Chris Morris broke through in his second over. The wicket wouldn't have happened without Phangiso's help, however, as he backpedalled furiously from point and then dived full length to get his hands underneath the ball. He fell heavily onto the ground and seemed to have winded himself, but clung onto a vital catch.
The caught-and-bowled that wasn't
Phangiso appeared to have taken another stunner when Suresh Raina pressed forward at a flighted delivery and popped the ball in the air back towards the bowler. On first viewing, it looked as though Phangiso had plucked the ball from the air millimetres from the turf, and he immediately began celebrating the dismissal. Raina wasn't quite so sure, and stood his ground as the umpires conferred. The television replay suggested that the ball might have touched the ground before Phangiso caught it, and so Raina batted on.
The double act
Gulam Bodi looked entirely unconvincing as he completely failed to take advantage of the field restrictions at the start of the Lions chase and had scratched his way to 15 from 24 deliveries after the first ball of Albie Morkel's second over. Then, something snapped. Bodi cleared his left leg and bludgeoned a massive six off a Morkel offcutter, sparking a remarkable transformation. Before the over was up, he'd added a second six and suddenly every shot flowed off the middle of the bat. He brought up a 38-ball fifty with his third six in the 12th over, having motored from 15 to 51 in all of 14 deliveries, and was eventually dismissed for a rollicking 64.
The second catch
Neil McKenzie's calm head had helped steer the Lions chase against Mumbai on Sunday, but he couldn't quite stay the distance at Newlands. It did, however, take a stunning piece of fielding to prise him from the crease. With the required run rate creeping above 11 in the 17th over, the Lions needed boundaries and McKenzie attempted a loft down the ground off R Ashwin. He sliced underneath what appeared to be a carrom ball, and Raina sprinted in from long-on. Though he covered good ground, it looked like the ball would fall in front of him, and so he tumbled forward and somehow managed to get his hands underneath the ball. Unfortunately for Chennai, his inspirational effort went in vain.
Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town