Panchkula:Batting legend Brian Lara failed with the bat for third time in a row as Mumbai Champs crashed to a 24-run loss against Delhi Jets in the Indian Cricket League in Panchkula on Friday.
Mumbai Champs' third consecutive defeat has virtually thrown them out of the ICL's Twenty20 tournament.
Chasing a target of 164, Lara, who opened the innings with D S Jadhav made his exit in the second over scoring just 3 of 5 balls. He nudged one to wicketkeeper Paul Nixon off T Sudhindra.
Man-of-the-match Sudhindra, the right arm pacer from Madhya Pradesh, wrecked the top order by sending Nathan Astle (4) and Vikram Solanki (4) to pavilion. After their exit, the Champs started disintegrating and in the ninth over they were struggling at 5-50.
Jadhav (42) kept fighting a losing battle managing to score 42 runs of 35 balls before he fell to 17-year-old Ali Murtaza, who had him caught by Taufeeq Umar.
Even a late charge by Merven Dillon (19) could not prevent the inevitable as 27 runs were required by Champs in the final over. The Champs ended up with 139-9.
Earlier, Lara was out on duck and scored four against Hyderabad Heroes and Chennai Superstars.
Electing to bat, Delhi Jets too did not have a great start and lost three wickets with 45 on board.
However, it was the blitzkrieg unleashed by middle-order batsmen D M Benkenstein (38 of 25 balls) and Paul Nixon (39 of just 14) who remained not out and piled up 65 runs in just 27 balls that turned the scales in favour of the Jets.
Avinash Yadav of the Champs gave away 25 runs in the 18th over proving expensive finishing with 38 runs in 3 overs.
Nixon, hit four sixes in his quickfire knock, entertained the crowd who had turned up in reasonable numbers despite very cold conditions.
Jets skipper Marvan Atapattu scored run-a-ball 14 before he fell LBW to Astle.
Meanwhile, a half-a-million dollar fly camera, with only four of them in entire world, was used in this match to give close aerial shots of the ground.
Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha was the chief guest.