RAIPUR

Pakistan's Lahore Lions brought defending champions Mumbai Indians down a peg or two in the Champions League T20 qualifiers in Raipur on Saturday. Chasing an innocuous 136 to win, the team from across the border faced little trouble getting over the line with six wickets in hand.

Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad added 51 for the opening wicket to set the tone for the M Hafeez-led team. However, wickets at regular intervals - Shehzad (34), Jamshed (26), Saad Nasim (6), Hafeez (18) - made things a bit difficult for the team in the middle overs. Hafeez, who unsuccessfully kept counselling Shehzad, Jamshed and Nasim, also fell to a poor shot.

With 26 runs needed to win in three overs, Umar Akmal (38 not out off 18 balls) took charge of the chase and unleashed a few lusty blows, taking his team to an important win with eight balls to go. Asif Raza remained unbeaten on 14. Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha was the most impressive MI bowler with figures of 2 for 18.

Lions, boasting six Pakistan international players, made MI look ordinary, reducing the defending champions to 135 for 7 in 20 overs. The Pakistani pacers lived up to their reputation after Hafeez put MI in to bat on a pitch that was a bit partial to fast bowlers. Lendl Simmons (7) and Michael Hussey had taken their team to 20 when Aizaz Cheema induced a false stroke off the West Indian, bringing Wahab Riaz into play at mid-off.

Jalaj Sexana, who made it into the eleven on account of regular skipper Rohit Sharma's finger injury that ruled him out of the tournament, edged the next ball of the Cheema over to Jamshed in the slips. Medium pacer Raza then made things worse for MI with the wicket of Ambati Rayudu (3), leaving them to 23 for 3 inside five overs.

Hussey, who all this while batted with a cautious approach, was joined by Aditya Tare and both added 44 runs to bring some sort of normalcy to their team before Riaz had Hussey caught behind for 28 and a few overs later Imran Ali, whose bowling action reminded everyone of Sohail Tanvir, god rid of captain Kieron Pollard (6) with an unplayable yorker, putting the MI innings in doldrums.

Tare, who until then had looked in control, also succumbed for 37 in a bid to execute big shots. His pull off Riaz came a cropper and landed into the hands of Adnan Rasool. Had Harbhajan Singh (18) and Praveen Kumar (20*) not got a few shots towards the end, things could have been even worse for the IPL giants. Cheema and Riaz returned 2 for 22 and 2 for 31 respectively.

Scoreboard

SOUTHERN EXPRESS:

MUMBAI INDIANS:

L Simmons c Wahab b Aizaz    7

M Hussey c Umar b Wahab    28

J Saxena c Nasir b Aizaz    0

A Rayudu c Umar b Asif    3

A Tare c Adnan b Wahab    37

K Pollard b Imran    6

Harbhajan run out    18

P Kumar not out    20

S Malinga not out    1

EXTRAS: (b4, lb8, w3)    15

TOTAL: (7 wkts; 20 overs)    135

FOW: 1-20, 2-20, 3-23, 4-67, 5-94, 6-107, 7-127

BOWLING: Asif Raza 3-0-18-1, Aizaz Cheema 4-0-22-2, M Hafeez 3-0-17-0, Imran Ali 3-0-22-1, Wahab Riaz 4-0-31-2, Adnan Rasool 3-0-13-0

LAHORE LIONS:

Nasir Jamshed st Tare b Harbhajan    26

Ahmed Shehzad c Pollard b Ojha    34

M Hafeez c Hussey b Pollard    18

Saad Nasim c Saxena b Ojha    6

Umar Akmal not out    38

Asif Raza not out    14

EXTRAS: (lb2, nb1)    3

TOTAL: (4 wkts; 18.4 overs)    139

FOW: 1-51, 2-66, 3-81, 4-100

BOWLING: P Kumar 3-0-15-0, J Bumrah 3.4-0-35-0, S Malinga 3-0-30-0, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-26-1, P Ojha 4-0-18-2, K Pollard 1-0-13-1

TOSS: Lahore Lions

MAN OF MATCH: Umar Akmal

UMPIRES: V Kulkarni, C Shamshuddin\

TV UMPIRE: C Nandan

MATCH REFEREE: Chinmay Sharma