Defending champions Mumbai Indians paid the price for their indifferent show, crashing out of the Champions League T20 as a committed Northern Knights from New Zealand overpowered them with a one-sided six-wicket victory in the final qualifying round match at Raipur on Tuesday.
Apart from Northern, the other team that qualified for the main round was Pakistan's Lahore Lions, who won two of their three matches while MI had the ignominy of being the first ever defending champions in six editions, who were ousted in the preliminary round. Lions incidentally are first team from Pakistan to qualify for CLT20 main round.
After being out into bat, Mumbai Indians scored a below par 132 for nine in 20 overs with none of their batsmen scoring big on a pitch that aided medium pacers. Tim Southee and Scott Styris took three wickets apiece.
In reply, Kane Williamson (53 off 36 balls) presented copybook technique with calculated assault as an opening partnership of 83 with left-hander Anton Devcich sealed the issue for the 'Pink Panthers' in only 17.2 overs.
Devcich, on his part, scored 39 as batting became easier during second half with dew factor coming into play.
It was a treat to watch Williamson's batting. Dubbed as a player for longer versions, the young Black Caps batsman showed the virtue of proper technique as he repeatedly danced charged down the track to spinners reaching to the pitch of the deliveries while playing the lofted shot.
Yet his second 50 in the tournament came off 32 balls as he reached the landmark with a straight six and a four off Harbhajan Singh's bowling.
In all, Williamson, hit seven boundaries and a six before his uppish drive of Jasprit Bumrah delivery was taken by Pollard at short cover.
BJ Watling was out when Harbhajan plucked a catch out off thin air off Bumrah's bowling but by then Northern were well on course to reach the target.