Sydney Sixers annihilate listless Yorkshire
Sydney Sixers 98 for 2 (Lumb 43*, Haddin 41) beat Yorkshire 96 for 9 (Root 25, Starc 3-22) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Newlands witnessed its second consecutive one-sided game as Sydney Sixers needed just 8.5 overs to breeze past Yorkshire's 96 and give the county side the rudest of welcomes to the main draw. The Sixers showed why they are among the better bowling units in this competition, keeping Yorkshire to a score below 100 under sunny skies. The seamers shared all nine wickets to fall, striking with such regularity that the innings failed to gather any momentum.
It was as if the teams were batting on different pitches. It was a collective struggle for Yorkshire as several across-the-line swipes failed to find the middle of the bat; punches and lofts hit the toe end of the blade and didn't have enough to clear the fielders. That only two batsmen went past the 20s - the highest score was Joe Root's 25 - was indicative of how tough it was. When Brad Haddin and Michael Lumb swung and swished, the ball hit the sweet spot more often than not and found the boundary 16 times during their association. Yorkshire managed only 11 boundaries in all.
The Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale himself found it hard to get bat on ball after opting to bat first, and had limped to 8 off 18 balls before he walked across his crease opting to improvise against Josh Hazlewood, only to see his leg stump cartwheel. After Phil Jaques fell for a breezy 19, the seamers applied the stranglehold that stayed through the innings. At one stage, Yorkshire managed only eight runs off five overs. Root broke free with a flick to midwicket and a pulled six - the only one of the innings - off Watson. However, the slowness of the pitch consumed him as well as he swung too early against Moises Henriques and lost his off stump.
The run-rate took a beating as well - it stayed below five an over for seven consecutive overs, sneaked above five for a couple of overs before slipping again. The pressure piled on with every quiet over as the middle order ended up swishing at thin air as if they were shadow-practising a sword fight. Yorkshire managed only three boundaries of those coming in the last ten overs. Mitchell Starc, who leaked 13 off his first over, came back well, landed his yorkers correctly and finished with 3 for 22.
The only consolation in the field for Yorkshire were the wickets of Shane Watson and Brad Haddin. Though Watson lasted just one over, Haddin lasted eight and by the time he was done, the Sixers were eight away from victory. Haddin and Lumb charged the bowlers and bashed the ball to all corners, propelling the score to 62 for 1 after just five overs. It was over so quickly that the few who showed up in the stands had more time to kill before the second game of the evening. With two wins, the Sixers went one step closer to the semi-finals.
There was a touch of irony too to the proceedings, that the two players who made the maximum impact in this annihilation, Starc and Lumb, have both represented Yorkshire.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo