Symes puts Lions in CLT20 semis
You need 43 off 43 with seven wickets remaining to make the semifinals and knock three competing teams out. What do you do? If you are a South African side, you nearly choke. The ingredients were all there. Commanding position in a crunch game, the threat of rain, Duckworth-Lewis calculations.
And Jean Symes took the Lions fans through the full range of emotions at their home ground. He allowed the asking-rate, which had started at around six-and-a-half, to touch ten after the 18th over. Even as the familiar word started doing the rounds, Symes, on six off 16, slammed four of his next six deliveries for boundaries to carry Lions to the knockout stage of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20), and with one final blow down the ground, sent Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Yorkshire out of the tournament.
It had been Lions' game to lose after their bowlers had not allowed the Yorkshire run-rate to approach seven at any stage in keeping them to 131. Yorkshire had begun their defence well in sending back the Lions openers with 31 on the board but Quinton de Kock had steadied the chase as he hit boundaries just when Yorkshire managed to build some semblance of pressure.
De Kock's wicket, a top-edge ending in the wicketkeeper's gloves off the last ball of the 13th over, was to precipitate the drama. Symes, having taken Lions home against Chennai Super Kings in the last over as well with a counter-attacking blitz, struggled to get the ball off the square. The 14th and 15th overs produced a run each and suddenly, the asking-rate was above eight.
Azeem Rafiq, with a spell of 4-0-14-1, was largely responsible for the urgency in Yorkshire captain