The Mohali crowd first enjoyed an edge-of-the-seat thriller and then sat back and relaxed to watch their heroes massacre Northern Knight in champions’ leagues’ most massive win in its brief history. After Thursday’s wash out game at Bangalore between Chennai Super Kings and Lahore Lions, it was bright and sunny at Mohali. Winning the toss, the Cape Cobras took to the field against Barbados Tridents. It was one of those entertaining games, which glued you to your seats at all times. The match went to the wire; scores were tied and for the first time this season, the decision shifted to the Super Over. Cobras won the thriller to break the hearts of the Caribbean team. In sharp contrast, the second match turned out to be a batting feast for the Kings XI Punjab, who piled up a huge 215/5 in 20 overs and Northern Knights wilted, trying to chase the mammoth total. The Punjabis loved the one-sider since their team was winning and finally the Knights lost by 120 runs. But more importantly for KXIP, the victory ensured that they take their place in the champions’ league semi-finals.
For Cobras, Justin Ontong won the toss and elected to field. His decision paid off instantly as Tridents lost two quick wickets. Shane Dowrich fell in the first over nicking Langeveldt to the keeper and new batsman Raymon Reifer was run out in the third over as confusion with his partner Emdy Munaweera, left him stranded in the middle. Tridents were in dire straits at 8/2 after 3 overs. Jonathan Carter joined Munaweera and the two took the score to 83 by the 11th over, when another run out caused Munaweera’s wicket. Despite losing two more partners, Carter showed exemplary commitment and took control of the Trsident‘s innings. By 18th over, Barbados Trident had made 151/5 with Carter not out on 94 off 61 balls with 9 fours and 4 sixes. Two more Tridents’ wickets fell in the run up to the 20th over but Carter wouldn’t give up. His relentless crusade took his side’s final score to a challenging 174/7 and his own score was 111 off 68 balls.
Cape Cobras began the 175 run chase in storming fashion with Hashim Amla and Richard Levi putting on 52/0 in 4 overs. Levi was the first to fall in the fifth over but Amla and Omphile Ramela continued until the 11th over to take the score to 99. At no time did the Cobras look in difficulty and by the 14th over, they had scored 125/2 and 50 were required for victory in 36 balls. Then all of a sudden the tempo was lost as Mendis removed Amla in the 15th over and conceded just 2 runs. In the 16th Nurse yielded 7. As the asking rate began to mount, Mendis took two more wickets in the 17th over and pushed the Cobras into difficulty. But Engelbrecht and Kemp took 14 runs in the 18th over to put the innings back on course. With Rampaul yielding just 5 off the 19th, Cobras needed 13 off the last 6 balls. But Emrit bowled a good last over to concede only 12 and the match went into the super over.
Rampaul took the ball for Barbados and conceded just 11 runs to Vilas and Levi in the eliminator. With 12 required to win, Tridents pressed Engelbrecht into service as Carter and Munaweera took 6 off the first 3 balls but Munaweera fell on the 4th, holing out at deep square-leg. With 5 to get off 2, Cobras conceded only 4 to Carter and notched up a thrilling win.
In the next match, Northern Knights chose to field after toss and probably made a mistake as KXIP mounted an attack from the very start. Virender Sehwag and Manan Vohra put on 102 in the 9th over and even after Vohra fell, Sehwag continued first with Thisara Perera and then with Glenn Maxwell before he fell for 52 off 37 balls. Earlier Vohra had taken only 32 for his 65. Even the fall of 4 wickets didn’t slow down KXIP, who had David Miller and George Bailey to keep the tempo intact. Miller made 40 off 18 balls and Bailey contributed 18 off 13 as KXIP finished with 215/5.
For the Knights, the 216-run chase was too hot to begin with. But they went on until the 9th over and put on 76/4. After that, their batting crumbled like dried bread. They lost their next 6 wickets beginning with scores of 81, 83, 92, 92, 94 and 95 and presented a semifinal gift to KXIP. Karanveer Singh was the wrecker-in-chief, taking 4 wickets off 15 runs in 20 balls and Akshar patel took 2 for 16 in his 4 overs.