Captain Michael Klinger smashed a blistering 78 as he led South Australia Redbacks to an 11-run victory over giant-killers Highveld Lions in a Champions League Twenty20 match in Centurion on Sunday.
Klinger led from the front with a strokeful 48-ball innings which had six fours and five sixes in it to take his side to 178 for six after they struggled on a lively SuperSport park pitch.
He got an able ally in Callum Ferguson, who scored a 27-ball 47 with seven fours and the duo shared 97 runs from just 57 balls for the third wicket after the Redbacks were put into bat.
Highveld Lions, who stunned Mumbai Indians in their opening match on Friday, were on course of their chase of a stiff target of 179 as they raised 90 for three at the halfway mark before they lost way later.
Opener Jonathan Vandiar, who top-scored with 71 against Mumbai Indians, could not repeat his form today as he was out in the first over, dragging a Shaun Tait express delivery to his off stump.
Captain Alviro Petersen (35-ball 56) kept the Lions on course with some aggressive batting but once he was out in the 13th over, the South African side's run chase lost direction.
With the asking rate mounting, Lions lower order batsmen failed to deliver at the slog overs.
Lions needed 32 form the last two overs and Robert Frylinck smashed two sixes off Tait in the penultimate over before he was out in the same over. That left 19 runs to be scored from the last over for a victory, which Lions tailenders could not achieve.
For Redbacks, Tait, who generated a lot of pace with some deliveries touching 150kmph, was the most successful bowler with three for 36 from his four overs. Daniel Christian chipped in with two wickets while Aaron O'Brien got one.
Earlier, Klinger smashed a blistering 48-ball 78 to lead Redbacks to 178 for six.
South Australia lost opener Daniel Harris (13) and one-down Graham Manou (12) cheaply to reach 65 for two at the halfway mark before pressing the accelerator.
The Australian Twenty20 runners-up side scored 113 runs in the second half of their innings with opener Klinger and Australia international Callum Ferguson (47) raining fours and sixes. The duo shared 97 runs from just 57 balls for the third wicket to help their side post a challenging total.
The duo were particularly severe on pacers Zander de Bruyn and Ethan O'Reilly and with Ferguson smashing the two bowlers for three fours in the 16th and 17th overs respectively. He was run out in the 18th over after hitting seven fours in his 27-ball innings.
Klinger hit Robert Frylinck for two consecutive sixes in the 18th over and gave de Bruyn the same treatment in the next over before being out. He hit six fours and five sixes in all in his 48-ball innings.
Lions were spot-on on the field and affected three run outs including two in the last over.
For Lions, Frylinck, de Bruyn and Aaron Phangiso took a wicket apiece.