Chennai Super Kings v Lions, Group B, Cape Town

Lions not surprised at beating IPL sides

Liam Brickhill at Newlands

October 17, 2012

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A

Lions celebrate after a thrilling win, Chennai Super Kings v Lions, Group B, Champions League Twenty20, Cape Town, October 16, 2012
The Lions could be on to something special © Associated Press
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There is a peculiar magic to unfancied sides that strike upon a winning formula. An underdog spirit that speaks of a whole greater than the sum of its parts, it bubbles to the surface in spontaneous displays of joie de vivre when the big boys are taken down a notch.

Trinidad & Tobago displayed such a sparkle during their run to the final of the inaugural Champions League in 2009. And in 2012, the Lions increasingly appear infused with the same spirit after inspired wins against two box office IPL sides - Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

In consecutive games, the Lions squad watched as their batsmen overcame star-studded opposition attacks. Both times, they lined up at the boundary's edge as the match reached its denouement, charging onto the field to embrace their team-mates once victory was sealed. Their success has been surprising only to those outside a Lions camp suffused with steel and self-belief.

"We always knew that we could be in a position like this," Lions captain Alviro Petersen said. "Against Mumbai, it was a calm and focussed performance. Here again, we were under pressure with the bat and the guys just stayed calm. We knew exactly what we could do if we could take the game to the last couple of overs."

The Lions are aware of the danger of getting ahead of themselves with only half the job done in this tournament, and Petersen insisted that, while it's important to enjoy success, they'd soon be switching their focus to the game against Sydney Sixers on Thursday.

"Being on an emotional high, like we've been against Mumbai Indians, it was important to get off our high horse and just start focussing on Chennai," he said. "And it's going to be exactly the same now.

"We obviously enjoyed the success and winning the game, but it's important that when tomorrow afternoon and evening comes we're focussed on the Sixers and put our plans in place for them."

Neil McKenzie and Quinton de Kock guided the Lions home against Mumbai with an unbroken 121-run partnership. This time around, Gulam Bodi's two-paced fifty, which switched between snail-speed and high-octane in the space of a couple of deliveries, powered their chase.

Though it's been the emotionally-charged celebrations of Lions' batsmen that have caught the attention of the photographers' lenses, one of the chief architects of their victories has been the fittingly unassuming Aaron Phangiso.

Phangiso has three wickets at 11.33 in the tournament so far, and has reluctantly given away runs at just 4.25 to the over. Tonight, he also added a remarkable backpedalling, diving catch to his contribution to get rid of the dangerous Faf du Plessis. "You don't practice stuff like that, it just happens," Phangiso said. "It happens in the moment. I was lucky to get it in the hands."

Born in Ga-Rankuwa, just north of Pretoria, Phangiso showed plenty of early promise and played Under-19 cricket for South Africa before his first-class debut eight years ago. He knocked around various academy, domestic and provincial sides, playing club cricket for Downham Town in the Norfolk Premier Division in England, before making something of a name for himself as a limited-overs bowler with the Lions.

With a CV like that, one might expect a little apprehension at bowling at the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, but Phangiso isn't one to be bothered by reputation. "Honestly speaking, I don't look at names," he said. "I just work on my game and try and execute what I do best. I don't really look at who's batting or not, if I just hit my lines then I'm fine. Whichever way it goes, then so be it. History is written already."

With a few more plucky performances, characteristic of the team he plays for, Phangiso could well be helping to write a significant slice of cricketing history in the weeks to come.

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Sinhaya on (October 19, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

@Al Minidodo Warming, thanks a lot for the information. Indeed Dravid, Tendulkar and Vengsarkar has proved hte difference.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 6:32 GMT)

Lions are overjoyed after their victories against MI & CSK...but still being said that they are not surprised....

Posted by Solid_Snake on (October 18, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

@ Rajesh_india_1990:I appreciate CSK's win in 2010..But the current form of all IPL teams in CL Tournament..Just too bad.Sometimes i wonder how the hell can CSK lose with bowler like Bolinger,Hilfenhaus and Morkel.These Pitches are like tailor made for these bowlers.Still CSK couldnt defend a target which was a decent total.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 18:04 GMT)

@Sinhaya: you might be right (about a few indian batsmen making the difference): http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;host=1;host=2;host=3;host=4;host=5;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=4;qualmin2=200;qualval1=innings;qualval2=runs;result=1;spanmin1=15+Mar+1980;spanval1=span;team=6;template=results;type=batting

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

@Karthik, I don't think Aswin is jaded, he is doing the best most spinners can in a T20 in SA conditions. He was alright in India and SL. I was surprised by Balaji though, I expected him to do much better in SA.

Posted by Sinhaya on (October 17, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster, also I forgot to say that India in West Indies have managed 5 test wins in contrast to just 1 by Sri Lanka. But remember again India started touring West Indies going back to the early 1950s and we had our first test in Caribbean only in 1997. So when looking at Sri Lanka, remember we got test status in 1982.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 16:31 GMT)

CSK batted poorly - their bowling was never their strength (mirrors Indian record in T20)... They were 20 runs short by losing wickets after decent starts for each batsmen. Outside the pace bowlers - Dhoni had average fire power and some like Ashwin appear jaded. Lions to their credit - did a good job on the field and did well to keep cool after initial loss of wickets & picked the slow bowlers to turn the heat on CSK.. job well executed. IPL should be played abroad every alternate season if things have to improve.

Hopefully next CLT20 - IPL gets only 2 automatic berth + 2 others in qualification to open up slots in main tournament - match practice will do good.

Posted by S-A-M-1994 on (October 17, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

@kalu rajesh india 1990.ya we all r watching quality of IPL teams lolz..... hey Put all 8 ipl teams in CLt20,4 not enuf..hahah

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (October 17, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

I think it is time to ban Spin pitches or stop criticizing Spin talent. Cricket is only for ENG, AUS and SA. Everyone else should stop playing or following cricket.

Posted by SoulTaker on (October 17, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa: Let your teams come to subcontinent...and you will know wats your team's strength really is for sure...

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Relax guys...looks like all anti India and anti IPL people are jumping up and down. This Tournament is not yet over. There all compelete chances that DD can go all the way through

Posted by West_Indies_Empire on (October 17, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

It should be Trinidad & Tobago vs. The Lions somewhere through this tournament. That would have been an amazing game of T20 Cricket. Poor form CLT20...poor form.

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (October 17, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

@solid_snake so what you are going to tell about CSK win in 2010 in southafrica(they lost only one match in the whole tournament that too by super over)..so now what you are going to say?..must answer...sour grapes huh?

Posted by Sinhaya on (October 17, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster, yes thanks but keep this in mind too. India too has only 2 test wins in England starting from 1990 till today. Sri Lanka too has only 2 test wins in England. Be mindful that India have played a lot lot more in England than Sri Lanka, so give us also more time to win test matches in England. India has won 2 tests in South Africa in contrast to 1 by Sri Lanka. India have won 5 tests in England in contrast to 2 by Sri Lanka. Against NZ, India have won 5 tests in contrast to 2 by Sri Lanka. By the way Sri Lanka have beaten Pakistan 6 times in tests in Pakistan in contrast to just 2 by India. Regarding our test record in Australia, it is forgetful and India have won 5 there. So overall India have been better on bouncy pitches thanks to Dravid and Tendulkar, but give us also time and better compare in another 15 or 20 years. So your word as "many more foreign test wins" is not right too I am afraid.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 17, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

@Hellboy82: Well it's funny isn't it ? But you also seem to forget how the non-Asian players DANCE when the ball spins. They are equally HOPELESS in subcontinental conditions. So the knife cuts both ways my friend. That's what irritates me all the time. It's a lot EASY to play quick bowling and I sometimes find it hard to understand why Asian batsmen can't seem to learn from past failures.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 17, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

@Sinhaya: Fair comment my friend. India have been a better test team than SL and that's a fact. India have registered many more foreign wins than SL over a number of years. In spite of being a Sri Lankan, it's good to see you admit your team's historical stats unlike some of your fellow countrymen. Big cheers to you.

Posted by Chamithg on (October 17, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

@ Naveed Hashmi: I agree with you. I guess all IPL teams ahould be there. First 6 in main draw and others in qualifying.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 17, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

@those who criticize IPL teams: I agree to a certain extent BUT remember that these SA, AUS, and NZ teams also CANNOT play in the subcontinent. Poor guys will dance to spinners; they are equally pathetic and poor to look at. So it's a vicious circle - Indian batsmen struggle against pace/bounce, all the others struggle against spin bowling. So if this CLT20 was to be held in India, I am sure the IPL sides would have registered wins by now. Next year the CLT20 will be held in India, I won't be surprised if we have all 4 IPL teams in the semis. This is the pattern I want to see broken in world cricket. It's time teams played well in alien conditions.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 17, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

I am tired of seeing the same pattern repeat over and over again. The Lions did not do anything SPECIAL to beat the CSK; it was purely poor cricket by Dhoni and his team. 158 was enough on that pitch. The CSK bowlers didn't bowl well, period. For some odd reason, Albie, Bollinger and Hilfenhaus have become just like their Indian counterpart - lethargic and heavy footed. Poor batting, poor bowling, poor fielding etc., all cost the IPL sides in this competition. Having said that though, some of these SA and Aussie sides will STRUGGLE in India big time. They simply DO NOT know how to play spin bowling and the IPL sides will be a much different proposition in the sub continent.

Posted by timtom on (October 17, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

Looking just one side of it...These so called lesser teams dont even end up playing semis when hosted in India..Then why throw mud on IPL teams.. BTW of the 3 CLT 20 played, IPL teams won twice and once in SA.

Posted by Hellboy82 on (October 17, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

It feels awesome every time an IPL team loses. I would love to see the Auckland team win. Next time Srinivasan would want slow & turning pitches for CL. LOL

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (October 17, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

@ali-abbas well ipl teams won two out of three Clt20 upto now(one in india,other in SA)..thats shows the quality..i think you have an amnesia..i am not responsible for your amnesia..please publish

Posted by vishnu1503 on (October 17, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

CSK cannot play with Saha and Badri in the same team. Wats the point of having so many batsmen and still being able to post only 158? Saha did not even get a chance to bat. CSK needs good all rounders who can contribute with bat and ball, Mr Jadeja is an absolute waste of space in the team, he wastes balls when batting and gives away runs at will when bowling. Why has Scott Styris not been given a chance to play a single match for CSK? He was a revelation during the recent english t20 tournament, yet CSK dont play him and loose all their matches. Why did Dhoni not give Raina a bowl yesterday? His biggest mistake is that he bowled Bollinger and Hilf for 6 overs. When lions were on the back foot (overs 4 and 5) was when he should have brought in his part timers (jadeja, faf etc) as they would not have been so confident to go after the bowling at that point. Poor selection and predictable safe captaincy from MSD has ruined one of the most exciting IPL teams.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (October 17, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

CSK got thrashed..I am not surprised at all.All IP teams...Just go home and leave the rest of the tournament for SA,Eng and Aus teams. CSK..I can see an IPL team becoming a champion in CL..Only if that tournament is being held in India :P

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Inspite of the loss, CSK look 2nd best IPL team after DD. The opponents have to play out of their skin to beat CSK.

MI and KKR are being routed!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

its not all about IPL team its all about condition if lion and sixer play in indian condition they are not able to win,,,IPL team are not able fast bowler in SA condition other team are not able to play in Indian condition,,,i m sye id d;kofee play like this in Indian condition and same with neil,,,,its only because of condition

Posted by Sinhaya on (October 17, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

@Uppercut07, I believe you are a Lankan just like me. But honestly admit it that India have registered test wins (1 each) in the most bounciest pitches on earth and they are in Headingley in 2002 and in Perth in 2008. Our test wins have been on the moderately paced pitches like Oval and Nottingham in 1998 and 2006 respectively. We must start winning test matches in Australia before boasting on flat track bullies. Hopefully we win in December in Australia like how we won the Boxing Day test match in Durban in December last year. We must be grateful to Cricket Australia for NOT giving us Perth for neither tests nor ODIs!

Posted by S-A-M-1994 on (October 17, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

btw@ kalia rajesh india 1990.where are ya mate?havent seen ya coment on quality performances of ipl teams ?

Posted by Pams118 on (October 17, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

It is a real sorry state of affairs that the IPL teams have not been able to win even one game so far even against unfancied teams/qualifiers. Highveld Lions have turned out to be giant killers even when the pre-match reports suggested that MI & CSK will win with ease. At this rate it would not be surprising if none of the IPL teams are in the last four. It seems to be a familiar story as it is happening with the National te am not being able to adapt to pacey & bouncy tracks. While the IPL teams have players from Australia and South Africa still as a unit they have not been able to familiarize to the SA conditions.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

This is totally unfair! Since BCCI holds the largest share of the CLT20 company, there should be more IPL teams. I would suggest to have top 4 as direct entries and 5th and 6th ones should play a qualifying round. Or perhaps 6 direct entries for IPL teams could be even better!

Posted by liaqathussain on (October 17, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

abit embarrassing for the ipl teams,, getting beaten by much lesser teams with players who no1 has heard of,, all the ipl teams are made up of star's who lack unity and just play for money,

i bet if a pure Indian domestic team played the clt20 ,, they would struggle to win a single match, good on lion and Auckland who play with 90% local players and max 2 international players,

hats of to u guys, shame on bcci for sending 4 teams to guarantee a win

Posted by kami_alvi on (October 17, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

IPL teams in Champions League are as Real Madrid, Star Studed but no better results in Champions league!

Posted by Rahul_78 on (October 17, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

It wont be surprising if in future editions of Champions league which are played outside India the IPL teams will be pushing for 5 or 6 internationals to be included in their squad.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (October 17, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

IPL teams consist of mercernary foreign players thrown together to play a bit of hit and giggle cricket on flat tracks. What were you expecting??

Posted by andrew27994 on (October 17, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

I too am not surprised at the Lions performance because they got some really talented guys in the side like Bodi, de Kock, Symes, Phangiso and Morris. Lions never had these players in their squad in the last CLT20 and with the addition of a couple of overseas players it provides depth to their lineup. I wish Aces and Lions best of luck and hope they make it to the finals.

Posted by deadite11 on (October 17, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

CSK dominated the game till 7th over and one morkel's over changed that. CSK is the only IPL side which used to have decent loss, at 2009 edition, CSK beats S.A's champion side warriors twice to clinch the cup. They even beat dangerous side cape cobras last editon, but this time some disarray in team work cost the game. Lions had capitalised the free hits to sixes make them more comfortable. So CSK should realise this as a lesson and they should avoid these mistakes for future series like IPL.

Posted by CricketMaan on (October 17, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

Niether Im surprised. IPL is a group of NOMADIC freelance players who just turn up one morning hoping one among them will do a magic. Though CSK has not lost badly unlike MI or KKR, they didnt show the same intensity as doemstic teams. While Lions, Aces have something to prove at this stage, CSK and KKR are happy wiht IPL wins. Though CSK did win CLT20 in SA, there is obvious tiredness. And imagine what these losses do to Ashwin's confidence who will be the lead spinner against Eng. Dhoni never accepts his body is tired, though his scores and lack of power shows that from time to time. He is no more the same tactical Dhoni, its wierd to see Raina's golden arm not used neither for CSK or India, he stil trusts Faf to bowl better than him, In manyways im glad that a lot of India players will be be home soon. Time to play Ranji and get ready for England.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

IPL teams can not beat local sides. This proves how dumb is the theory of puting four freaked out sides directly in to a tournament, I bet none of them could have qualified for the tournament, if they had played the qualifiers.

Posted by criclogics on (October 17, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

Going by a few comments it seems Hussey, Kallis, McCullum, Du Plessey are not capable of playing on fast, bouncy seaming pitches!

Posted by KXAH on (October 17, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

@nattuz: "just becoz they lost a couple of matches does not mean they are bad" Some good teams were sent back after loosing just one game in the qualifiers, were they bad?

It's not about who is good or who is bad, it's about delivering when it is required. IPL teams are failing to do so, perhaps lack of ability. It is a waste that 4 IPL teams are included in such a league to provide easy wins to other teams helping them winning the title. There should be some contest at least. IPL top teams should also play the qualifiers.

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (October 17, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

SC13159.IPL team will snatch Phangiso for bowling in nets to their batsmen.I firmly believe he is upto these net bowlers standard.Maybe a bit less.But Delhi dnt have good spining net bowlers.So maybe they will snatch him.

Posted by haq33 on (October 17, 2012, 7:23 GMT)

Maybe there should be one group for just the Indian teams since they have so many "worthy" teams compared to everyone else. Then also, at least they would be guaranteed to win some games until they get knocked out by any of the non-IPL teams. Also guarantees precious Indian viewer ratings until the knockout stage.

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (October 17, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

Phangiso is an exciting prospect for SA. Next Narine in the making. You bet ,next year he will not be playing for the Lions. Some IPL team will snatch him.

Posted by nattuz on (October 17, 2012, 6:47 GMT)

the inability of IPL teams to win in south africa is becoz they are getting adjusted to the pitch and the conditions. just becoz they lost a couple of matches does not mean they are bad. the IPL teams have proven match winners and can turn around anytime and come out with an awesome display. the same SA or AUSSIE teams if they were playing in the sub-continent would also find it hard to play on the slow and turning wickets. reading into the ability and calibre of IPL teams after a couple of displays is not the right way to go about analysing their performance. players like jacques kallis, faf du plessis, michale hussey, kp, sehwag, dhoni, gambir are world class performers and can come out blazing with match winning performances. seems like the IPL teams are kind of jaded and lack self-motivation.

Posted by Uppercut07 on (October 17, 2012, 6:40 GMT)

this is wat happens when batsmen brought up in flattracks travel to SA! :D

Posted by D-Ascendant on (October 17, 2012, 6:15 GMT)

I think the fallacy is assuming that if a team plays in the IPL, then automatically it must be good. Thankfully, teams like the Lions and the Aces are blasting that notion out of the park.

Posted by Edassery on (October 17, 2012, 6:15 GMT)

IPL teams are exhibiting what they are worth! When you are in SA, you need good quality batsmen who are up to the challenge and bowlers who have their basics right. And most importantly on express outfields with short boundaries, you need 11 athletic fielders who could prevent ones becoming twos and possibly some boundaries. Most of our star batsmen and bowlers are pathetic fielders.

Posted by satish619chandar on (October 17, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

To be fair, it is easy for domestic teams to beat IPL teams. Especially in SA conditions. Generally IPL teams don't boast of quality local pace bowlers and depend a lot on foreign bowlers. To add insult to injury, some batters are not comfortable in batting in these conditions too. What was sorrowful in this game is, Phangiso out bowling Ashwin. A very badly timed no ball from Ashwin while he was bowling decent in the crucial over cost 10 more runs and released the pressure they created before. The real turning point was that moment. CSK is not losing badly but still, they are losing.

Posted by davidatlas999 on (October 17, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

With one of the two pakistani in loins squad.my support for loins after auckland.go lions and auckland.best of luck.

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