Umar Akmal played a stunning cameo of 18-ball unbeaten 38 as Lahore Lions beat defending champions Mumbai Indians by six wickets in their opening qualifying round match of the Champions League Twenty20 in Raipur on Saturday.
Put into bat, Mumbai produced a mediocre batting display as they could score just 135 for seven with Aditya Tare top-scoring with a 37 and the Pakistani side comfortably chased down the target with eighth balls to spare.
Ahmed Shehzad (34) and Nasir Jamshed (26) laid a good platform by stitching 51 runs for the opening wicket but they looked like losing way in the middle overs as Mumbai came back strongly on the back of some fine bowling and fielding.
Lahore needed 26 runs from the last three overs and the match headed towards a tight finish though they had six wickets in hand.
But, Akmal turned the game on its head with a superb show of batting as he struck four fours and two sixes from 18 balls in his unbeaten knock as Lahore ran away with a win as they reached 139 for four in 18.4 overs.
Coming out at the fall of Saad Nasim (6) in the 14th over, Akmal laid low for a while before opening up. He hit two fours in the 16th over off Kieron Pollard and then ended the game with two fours and a six in the 19th over bowled by Jasprit Bumrah. He ended the match in style with a four.
Lasith Malinga's 18th over cost 15 runs with Akmal hitting a six and that settled the issue in favour of Lahore
For Mumbai, Pragyan Ojha took two wickets for 18 runs while Harbhajan Singh and Pollard got one each.
Earlier, Aditya Tare top-scored with a 37 in a mediocre batting show by defending champions Mumbai Indians as they scored 135 for seven.
Mumbai slumped to a precarious 23 for three in the fifth over with opener Lendl Simmons (7), Jalaj Saxena (0) and Ambati Rayudu (3) being dismissed cheaply in the space of seven balls and they never recovered from there.
In fact, Simmons and Saxena were out in consecutive deliveries off pacer Aizaz Cheema in the fourth over as Mumbai lost the momentum early on.
The other opener, Michael Hussey (28) stayed put for some time and he stitched 44-runs with Tare for the fourth wicket before departing in the 12th over after facing 26 balls from which he hit two fours and a six.
West Indian big hitter Kieron Pollard, who was named captain after Rohit Sharma suffered an injury, could not contribute much and he departed soon after scoring just six.
Mumbai 100 came only in the 17th over and Tare fell the next over while trying to force the pace of the innings. He faced 36 balls and hit two fours and as many sixes.
Harbhajan Singh (18) and Praveen Kumar (20 not out) gave some entertainment to the big crowd at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium with some lusty blows towards the close.
Harbhajan hit a six in the penultimate over but was run out in the first ball of the final over
For the Pakistan side, Aizaz Cheema and Wahab Riaz grabbed two wickets apiece while Asif Raza and Imran Ali chipped in with a wicket each.
Ledl Simmons c Wahab Riaz b Cheema 7
Michael Hussey c Akmal b Riaz 28
Jalaj Saxena c Jamshed b Cheema 0
Ambati Rayudu c Akmal b Raza 3
Aditya Tare c Rasool b Riaz 37
Kieron Pollard b Ali 6
Harbhajan Singh run out 18
Praveen Kumar not out 20
Lasith Malinga not out 1
Extras: (B-4 LB-8 W-3) 15
Total: (For 7 wkts in 20 overs) 135
Fall of wickets: 1/20 2/20 3/23 4/67 5/94 6/107 7/127
Bowling: Asif Raza 3-0-18-1, Aizaz Cheema 4-0-22-2, Mohammad Hafeez 3-0-17-0, Imran Ali 3-0-22-1, Wahab Riaz 4-0-31-2, Adnan Rasool 3-0-13-0.
Lahore Lions: (target: 136 runs from 20 overs)
Nasir Jamshed st Tare b Harbhajan 26
Ahmed Shehzad c Pollard b Ojha 34
Mohammad Hafeez c Hussey b Pollard 18
Saad Nasim c Saxena b Ojha 6
Umar Akmal not out 38
Asif Raza not out 14
Extras: (LB-2 NB-1) 3
Total: (For 4 wkts in 18.4 overs) 139
Fall of wickets: 1/51 2/66 3/81 4/100
Bowling: Praveen Kumar 3-0-15-0, Jasprit Bumrah 3.4-0-35-0, Lasith Malinga 3-0-30-0, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-26-1, Pragyan Ojha 4-0-18-2, Kieron Pollard 1-0-13-1.
Image: Umar Akmal