Rohit Sharma Hardus Viljoen
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma and Highveld Lions bowlers Hardus Viljoen have a few words to say to each other during their CLT20 match in Jaipur, September 27Ron Gaunt/CLT20/SPORTZPICS

The most exciting aspect of the CLT20 game between the Mumbai Indians and the Highveld Lions was when Rohit Sharma and Hardus Viljoen had a bit on an altercation. The rest was easy-peasy for the IPL side, as they completed a comfortable seven-wicket victory.

The Mumbai Indians really needed to win this match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur to stay in the hunt for a semifinal berth, having lost one and seen one abandoned, and after winning the toss, there really looked like being only one winner.

Asked to bat first on a pitch that offered something for the fast bowlers, the Lions scratched their way to 140 for five, with the Mumbai Indians, led by an unbeaten half-century from Smith, easing to the target in 18.3 overs.

Sachin Tendulkar failed to make an impression with the bat yet again as Sohail Tanvir found a way through his defences with a slower ball early on. But, Smith was not to be denied, smashing a few sixes early on to set the tempo for the rest of the chase.

Dinesh Karthik (13) and Rohit Sharma (20), like the Lions batsmen, got to double figures but could not carry on.

Sharma, however, did have a stare down with Lions bowler Viljoen with the two exchanging a little more than pleasantries after an over, with the umpires and Lions skipper Petersen having to separate the two.

At the other end, Smith (63 n.o., 47b, 4x4, 3x6) was going great guns, reaching his fifty in just 33 balls and timing the chase perfectly, with Pollard (32 n.o., 20b, 2x4, 3x6) joining him towards the end with a little cameo of his own as MI cruised.

Earlier, the Highveld Lions never really found the top gear as the Mumbai Indians bowlers did well to quell any charge.

Pretty much all of the Lions batsmen, except Tanvir, went past double figures but only two of them could kick on to make any score of note - the two batsmen that ended up not out at the end of the innings - Alviro Petersen and Dwaine Pretorius.

Rassie Van Der Dussen and Quinton De Kock, survived a bit of nip from Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Coulter-Nile and looked to be on their way to a decent opening partnership before Johnson got his due reward with the wicket of Van Der Dussen (13 in 15).

De Kock also followed suit a couple of overs later, leaving the Lions on 41 for two.

Neil McKenzie, making a return to the starting XI after overcoming an injury, needed to use his experience and play the anchor role, but like his openers fell after getting a start, with Rishi Dhawan castling him.

A couple more wickets - of Jean Symes and Sohail Tanvir, both to Ojha - fell to leave the Highveld Lions on a precarious 81.5 with nearly seven overs remaining.

However, Petersen (35, 27, 3x4, 1x6) brought all his South Africa Test experience into play with Pretorius (31, 21b, 1x4, 2x6) giving him good company as the duo allied for 59 in just 6.4 overs to take the Lions to a decent 140.

It was never going to be enough, though, against a Mumbai Indians side desperate for a win as the IPL side eased home for all four points.

Quick Links