The Highveld Lions kicked off the Semifinals of the 2012 Champions League T20 with a convincing 139-5 to 117-9 victory over the Delhi Daredevils.
It was clear the South African squad was superior on this day. Led by Chris Morris, Highveld managed to shut down the most explosive lineup remaining in the Champions League, which continued the trend of stellar bowling for the Lions.
Going up against the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Virender Sehwag, Unmukt Chand and Pawan Negi, the Lions were able to hold their own, particularly Morris, who let up just seven runs and notched two wickets in four overs. Aaron Phangiso also had a strong bowling performance.
Pietersen was the only one who could solve Morris or any of the Lions fielders consistently on the day, notching 50 runs in 44 balls in what was an outstanding individual effort.
But it simply wasn't enough. Particularly surprising was the lackluster nine runs in 20 balls from Chand, who is considered one of the sport's rising stars, according to ZeeNews.com.
As far as the offensive attack for the Lions, Man of the Match Nick McKenzie led the way. The veteran plated 46 runs in just 28 balls, including four strikes that went beyond the boundaries in Durban's Kingsmead pitch.
With the elimination of the final Indian Premier League team in the Champions League, Highveld awaits the winner of the Sydney Sixers and the Titans in a matchup at Centurion. The Lions' bowling and fielding will be difficult for either prospective finalist to negotiate. To paraphrase a baseball analogy that applies here: Good bowling beats good batting.
In the final of the 2012 Champions League T20, the Lions hope to prove that notion to be true by emerging victorious.