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The Preview by Siddarth Ravindran
October 15, 2012
Match factsOctober 16, 2012
Sydney Sixers underlined why they are among the bookies favourites to win the Champions League T20 during their opening victory over the most consistent IPL side, Chennai Super Kings. Their fast bowling is the best in the tournament, and can rival most international teams - it was their fifth-best quick bowler Moises Henriques who carved out the heart of Chennai's middle order to turn the game decisively in Sixers' favour.
The batting is their weaker arm. They need early wins to ensure they aren't sweating at the end of the league phase, when their most destructive batsman Shane Watson won't be available, having been ordered back home to prepare for the upcoming home summer.
The batting is the problem for their opponents, Yorkshire, as well. Against the fearsome Sixers line-up, Yorkshire will need plenty from the experienced pair of Phil Jaques and Andrew Gale, especially in the absence of Jonny Bairstow. The county side's batsmen kept their cool in the chase in both qualifying games to earn a place in the main tournament, but the quality of the opposition they faced in the qualifiers aren't in the same class as the Sixers.
Watch out for...
Gary Ballance has already shown what he is capable of in this tournament, demolishing Trinidad & Tobago's chances by targetting their weaker bowlers. Can he pull off similar big hits against the pace of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins?
Steve Smith may not be the most popular cricketer in Australia, but he has been solid in T20 league performances this year. He led the Sixers to the BBL title at the start of 2012, then become one of the few bright lights of a dismal Pune Warriors IPL campaign. His bowling isn't used very often, but even in the match against Chennai he showed two aspects through which he contributes: the composed catch of Suresh Raina in the deep was a game-changing moment, and he also provided some late fireworks with the bat to push Sixers to a big score.
"Before this some of these guys hadn't seen the Newlands in their lives; they just saw it on TV. Now they're practising there and sitting in the change room there. All these little things are so exciting for them."
Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie is thrilled at the opportunity the CLT20 provides his players
"I'm hoping that I've learnt enough over the last few years for this to be happening more often."
Moises Henriques wants to turn in plenty more match-winning performances
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddarth Ravindran
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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