CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA // Michael Klinger won the battle of the captains yesterday as South Australia Redbacks beat the Lions by 11 runs in a Champions League Twenty20 Group B match. Klinger thrashed 78 from just 48 balls, sharing in a 97-run stand with Callum Ferguson, his vice-captain, who has just recovered from knee surgery, to propel the runners-up of the Big Bash Twenty20 in Australia to a total of 178 for seven.
It was timely moment for Klinger to register his first half-century in the short format of the game. Alviro Petersen, who took over the captaincy from Thami Tsolekile, the man who took the Lions to their domestic T20 final, led from the front in the South African team's reply, making a breezy 35-ball 56, but he lacked support. Neil McKenzie, the South African international, looked to be the man who was going to back up the captain but he was crucially run out having made 15. Fifteen runs later and the run chase was all but over when Petersen was trapped leg before by an accurate in-swinger from Daniel Christian.
"We squeezed them a bit in the bowling, but they got away in the end," Petersen said. "If we lose wickets while chasing, it is always difficult We lost too many. If one or two of us stayed in, it would have helped. Hopefully, we can put it right in the remaining two games and who knows from there?" Klinger, who was named man of the match, said: "Great to get off to a good start. The competition is cut-throat.