Raipur, Sep 14: A clinical all-round display by the Northern Knights helped them crush Lahore Lions by a whopping 72 runs to all but ensure their entry into the main round of the Champions League T20 here today.
Put into bat under overcast conditions, twin half-centuries by skipper Daniel Flynn (53) and wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling (53) helped the New Zealand outfit's reach a respectable 170 for six in 20 overs.
A dismal performance with the bat saw Lions being skittled out for 98 in 18 overs, which should seriously dent their chances of qualifying as the New Zealand outfit are all but sure of making it to the next round with two wins in two matches.
Nine out of 10 Lions batsmen dismissed failed to reach double figures. Tim Southee (3/22 in 4 overs) and Trent Boult (2/12 in 4 overs) bowled a deadly opening spell of swing and seam bowling to decimate the top half within six overs of Powerplay with less than 20 runs on board.
There was no way that the Lions would have made a comeback after such a deflating start to their innings as they succumbed to a crushing defeat. It started in the second over when Southee bowled a full swing delivery on left-handed opener Nasir Jamshed's toes.
The batsman could barely bring his bat down as the off-stump went cartwheeling. Controversial opener Ahmed Shehzad (2) then poked at a delivery from left-arm seamer Trent boult. The ball moved a shade after pitching as Shehzad fished at it giving Watling an easy catch behind the stumps.
Southee then made 16 for three when he dig one short as skipper Mohammed Hafeez (5) trying to give him the charge could only edge to Watling. With Southee getting his second wicket, it was time for Boult to level scores with his new ball partner as he angled one across Umar Akmal (1), who got an inside edge onto the stumps to make it 17 for four.
The top half was back in the hut when Umar Siddiq was adjudged leg before by umpire Vineet Kulkarni when a Southee delivery swung in to hit him on the pads. At 19 for five, with all the top-order batsman back in the pavilion, without a double digit score, the match was as good as over.