2016 MCL, Match 2: All-round Johan Botha guides Leo Lions to 26-run win over Capricorn Commanders
After a thrilling start to the Masters Champions League on Friday, the second match of the MCL was between the Leo Lions and the Capricorn Commanders at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Brian Lara, the captain of the Lions, won the toss and chose to bat first. Hamish Marshall got the Lions off to a good start as he scored 20 off just 12 balls. However, he was run out at the end of the third over and this started a batting collapse for the Lions.
Herschelle Gibbs, Robin Peterson and Brian Lara followed the Kiwi opener back to the dugout in quick succession as the Lions lost wickets at regular intervals.
After the dismissal of wicketkeeper, Brendan Taylor and Kiwi all-rounder Scott Styris it seemed like the Lions would fold very soon having been at 83/6 in 11.2 overs. However, former New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin and former South African spinner Johan Botha put in a 66-run partnership to help the Lions reach a score of respectability.
Franklin scored 31 off 31 balls while Botha played the attacking role with his 29-ball 42. Botha hit three fours and two sixes to help his side finish at 156/8 in 20 overs.
Rory Kleinveldt and Jeetan Patel were the best bowlers for the Commanders as they picked up two wickets each. Abdul Razzaq and Upul Chandana picked up a wicket each for the Commanders.
In reply, the Commanders’ openers took them to a brilliant start as they scored 63 runs in nine overs. Ashwell Prince and Andrew Symonds scored useful knocks at the top of the innings scoring 34 and 21 respectively.
Barring the openers and Paul Collingwood, the captain of the Commanders, all the other batsmen failed to reach scores of double figures.
The Lions’ bowlers were disciplined after making the first breakthrough and did not allow the Commanders’ batsmen to free their arms and chase down the total.
Fidel Edwards was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with figures of 4/33 in four overs. Botha and Styris bowled tight spells as they picked up one and two wickets respectively.
Brief Scores: Leo Lions 156/8, 20 overs (Botha 42*, Franklin 31; Kleinveldt 2/18, Jeetan Patel 2/24) beat Capricorn Commanders 130/8, 20 overs (Prince 34, Symonds 21; Edwards 4/33, Styris 2/14) by 26 runs.
Man of the match: Johan Botha