Mumbai Champs succumb to Cairns' belligerence
Chandigarh Lions 219 for 4 (Cairns 70, Manish Sharma 37*) beat Mumbai Champs 181 for 5 (Jadhav 58*, Powar 54) by 38 runs
Coming into this match, the Mumbai Champs had lost their previous three games, and when Chris Cairns hit Avinash Yadav for three consecutive sixes, their hopes of a first win started evaporating.
Cairns, the Lions captain, opted to bat first and his top order responded with a brisk start, the run-rate at exactly ten an over after nine overs had been bowled.
Imran Farhat powered that start with five fours in his 34, with No. 3 Tejindra Pal Singh making 27. Cairns then joined Manish Sharma at the crease in the 13th over, and dazzled the Sunday crowd with a show of brute big-hitting. After Shridhar Iyer conceded 13 in the 14th over, 20 apiece were added to the bowling figures of Yadav and Rakesh Patel.
With seven sixes, Cairns was the destroyer-in-chief, and having scored 70 with almost three overs to go, he looked on course to get a hundred. However, he fell to compatriot Nathan Astle while attempting to clear the boundary once more.
Manish Sharma's unbeaten 37 off 22 deliveries was overshadowed by Cairns' 70 off 26, as the Lions finished on 219, by far the highest total in the tournament thus far.
The Champs showed their intent by sending out their two most accomplished batsmen - Brian Lara and Nathan Astle - to deal grapple with the target of 220. Astle fell in the fifth over to Love Ablish, while Lara's series of single-digit scores continued as he was dismissed for 9.
Vikram Solanki didn't last long either and it was left to Dheeraj Jadhav and Kiran Powar to try their luck. The duo responded with fifties, but Cairns' belligerence had left with a little too much than what they could manage. The Champs finished 38 runs short of the Lions total, on a day of high-scoring matches in Panchkula.