Sydney Sixers win four out of four
Sydney Sixers 136 for 7 (Smith 41, Munaf 2-17) beat Mumbai Indians 124 for 8 (Cummins 2-16) by 12 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Sydney Sixers, with Shane Watson, were the most impressive side of the Champions League Twenty20, winning three out of three matches. Today they were without Watson for the first time, and though they weren't as powerful with the bat, their bowling and fielding skills were sharp enough to win their fourth consecutive game comprehensively, and send the defending champions Mumbai Indians home without a victory.
Sydney's batsmen weren't able to impose themselves on a pitch with bounce that was steep and spongy. Only three of the top seven batsmen made it out of single digits for Sydney: Michael Lumb's 28 was full of mis-timed pulls but gave the innings a satisfactory start, Nic Maddinson's 27 was at breakneck speed and attempted to blaze his team out of trouble, and Steve Smith's run-a-ball 41 was a repair job that did not grow into more.
A target of 137 might have been easier to achieve against most other teams but Sydney's pace attack and their exceptional fielding never let Mumbai stage a breakaway. The margin of victory was only 12 in the end, but the game was lost long before that. Mumbai scored 20 futile runs off the final over.
Mumbai opened with Dwayne Smith and Sachin Tendulkar and they struggled to get going against Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. The ball seamed and bounced under lights and Mumbai cobbled together 30 for 0 after six overs. Just when they had begun to gain momentum, with Smith and Tendulkar clearing the boundary, Moises Henriques removed both within four balls in the ninth over, leaving Mumbai 53 for 2.
Rohit Sharma began to repair the chase but he was run out by a direct hit from Cummins. Rohit vented anger at being sent back by Dinesh Karthik, who had dropped the ball at his feet and taken a few steps down the pitch. Karthik was also run out later, as he was forced to run around a back-pedaling Henriques and was caught short by McCullum's direct hit. Thereafter, Mumbai simply went through the motions.
Sydney's innings had a start that was worse than Mumbai's after Brad Haddin chose to bat. They had been 33 for 0 but slumped to 40 for 3.
Maddinson began an audacious counterattack by upper cutting his first ball, off Lasith Malinga no less, over the keeper for six. He swept the left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha twice to the leg-side boundary and then smashed the ball into the second tier beyond long-on. While Smith was steadying the innings, Maddinson went about giving it momentum, until he was caught short by a direct hit from Malinga at point. Henriques was done in by a Harbhajan Singh arm-ball, and Sydney had lost two wickets for one run.
Their hopes for a Smith-propelled finish ended in the 18th over, when Malinga beat a cheeky paddle and hit the stumps. McCullum, playing for Watson, was the fourth person to make a double-digit score and he led them to 136. It was below-par for this surface, but enough for Sydney's crack bowling attack.
George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo