SKYCITY Northern Knights 170-6 (Daniel Flynn 53, BJ Watling 53) beat Lahore Lions 98 all out in 18.0 overs (Tim Southee 3-22, Trent Boult 2-12, Ish Sodhi 2-30) by 72 runs at Chhattisgarh International Cricket Stadium, Raipur.
The SKYCITY Northern Knights sit on top of the qualifying group, in the box seat to enter the main draw after a crushing win over the Lahore Lions in Raipur. BLACKCAPS pair Trent Boult and Tim Southee blew the Lions top order away with a masterful display of swing bowling, after half centuries to skipper Daniel Flynn and BJ Watling took the Knights to 170 in their innings.
Opening bowlers Boult and Southee put on a swing bowling masterclass in humid conditions to reduce the Lahore Lions to 19-5 in the sixth over to end the run chase before it really began. Southee struck first, yorking Nasir Jamshed in the second over, while Ahmed Shehzad edged Boult to Watling in the third. Southee bagged danger man Mohammad Hafeez for five when he feathered a short ball to Watling, before Umar Akmal played Boult onto his stumps for one, and Southee got Umar Siddiq lbw for three.
"I think we showed once we get the ball swinging it's a lot harder, and if you keep taking wickets through a Twenty20 innings it's tough to get the momentum back. The start we got off to, there was no coming back, and we managed to keep chipping away and taking wickets at key times throughout," said Southee.
The Lions innings limped along from that point, with Saad Nasim the only bastman to reach double figures with 58 from 40 balls. Southee combined with Daryl Mitchell to remove Asif Raza in the 10th over in a spectacular relay catch, and Ish Sodhi helped mop up the tail with two wickets. Scott Kuggeleijn conceded just 13 runs from his three overs before Adnan Rasool was run out by skipper Flynn to end the Lions innings for 98 in the 18th over to give the Knights the win by 72 runs.
Earlier, Kane Williamson (14) and Daniel Harris (20) gave the Knights momentum before Watling (53 from 37) and Flynn (53 from 30) put on a 90 run partnership for the fourth wicket to form the backbone of the innings. Flynn was dropped first ball and went on to punish the Lions with some powerful hitting right from the start, while Watling hit his first two deliveries for boundaries and was aggressive in the face of some accurate bowling.
Flynn went in the 18th over and Watling in the last, but they had played their part compiling a total that proved more than enough. Aizaz Cheema was the most successful of the Lions bowlers with 3-35.
The SKYCITY Northern Knights have eight points after two matches, ahead of the Mumbai Indians and Lahore Lions, who have four each. Their next match is at 2.30am NZ time on Wednesday morning against the Mumbai Indians.