All-rounder Jimmy Neesham did the star turn with the bat and ball as Otago Volts beat Highveld Lions in the one-over eliminator in a thrilling group match to place themselves in a strong position for a semifinal berth in the Champions League Twenty20 here today.
Neesham first blasted a 25-ball unbeaten 52 to rescue Otago from a precarious position to take his side to 167 for seven and tie the match. In the Super Over,the first in this edition of CLT20,he bowled a superb over to give Otago victory in an edge-of-the-seat thriller which saw fortunes fluctuating from one side to the other.
The Lions,who are now knocked out of the tournament,looked like they would notch up their first win of the tournament when pacer Sohail Tanvir bowled a brilliant over to restrict Otago to just 13 runs in the Super Over at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
The Lions also began the Super Over with a bang with Quinton de Kock,who smashed a brilliant unbeaten 109 in his side’s innings earlier,hitting a four and a six in the first two deliveries of the one-over eliminator.
They needed four runs from as may deliveries but stunningly lost the plot in the nerve-wrecking Super Over as Jean Symes was out in the fourth ball,leaving the Lions needing three from two balls and two from the last ball.
Dwaine Pretorius was run out in the last ball,which meant that the Lions were all out for 13 in the Super Over as Otago emerged victorious,their 15th T20 match win on the trot.
With today’s win,Otago were on 10 points from three matches — two wins and one washed out game — and they are now in a strong position to qualify for the semifinals.
Chasing 168 for a win,Otago were placed at a precarious 103 for six at the end of 15 overs,needing 13 runs an over from the remaining five overs to win the match before Neesham turned the match on its head.
He struck a flurry of fours and sixes to take Otago near the target of 168 only to fumble in the last over.
Otago needed just 11 runs from the last over but they could score just 10 from it,needing the match to be decided via one-over eliminator.
Neesham hit a six in the first ball of the last over bowled by Tanvir and Otago needed just run-a-ball from the remaining five deliveries. But Neesham and Neil Wagner could get just four runs for the match to be decided by Super Over.
Earlier,opener de Kock slammed a blistering unbeaten 109 to propel Highveld Lions to a challenging 167 for four.
Wicketkeeper-batsman de Kock struck 10 fours and five sixes in his brilliant 63-ball unbeaten knock,the second century of this edition of CLT20,as he carried the bat through the innings after his side was asked to bat.
He shared 76 runs in 6.1 overs for the fourth wicket with Jean Symes (20 off 15 balls) after the Lions were reduced to 73 for three in the 12th over to set a challenging target.
The South African side were 59 for one at the halfway mark but added another 108 runs from the next 10 overs with de Kock raining fours and sixes. He took 21 runs from Nick Beard in the 16th over with the help of a four and two sixes.
The Lions made a sound start and added 44 in seven overs through Rassie van de Dussen (17) and de Kock. They suffered a twin blow as Beard removed Bauvama (13) and skipper Alviro Petersen (0) were out at the same score of 73.
But,de Kock continued to play freely and reached his 100 in the final over from just 60 balls,hitting 10 boundaries and four sixes. This was second Twenty20 hundred in 47 matches.
For Otago,Beard was most successful bowler picking two wickets for 31 while James McMillan and Neil Wagner got a wicket apiece.