Titans v Sixers, 2nd semi-final, CLT20, Centurion October 26, 2012

Sydney Sixers in final after nailbiter


Sydney Sixers 164 for 8 (O'Keefe 32, Lumb 33, van der Merwe 1-23) beat Titans 163 for 5 (Wiese 61*, Davids 59*) by two wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Fortunes ebbed and flowed in true Twenty20 style in Centurion, as Sydney Sixers scripted a final-ball jailbreak to set up a title clash with Lions on Sunday. It was a heartbreak for the home fans, who showed up to cheer for Titans, and for the rest of the country, who would have hoped for an all-South Africa final.

In a tournament that hasn't seen too many of the high scores normally associated with this format, a target of 164 was always going to be a challenge. Sixers were the form team, coming into the semis unbeaten, and seemed best equipped in all departments to overhaul any challenge thrown at them.

It was still anybody's game in the final over, with Sixers needing eight with three wickets in hand. Titans captain Martin van Jaarsveld gambled by tossing the ball to CJ de Villiers, who had had an ordinary night leaking 26 off his first two overs. Ben Rohrer was adventurous enough to paddle-scoop the first ball but could fetch only a couple. He scooped the second ball straight to mid-off but crucially in those few seconds, Pat Cummins - who blitzed a six the previous over - crossed and shielded the new batsman from facing. The following ball cost Titans as de Villiers sprayed it too wide of the off stump and was penalised. Cummins heaved the next to deep midwicket, survived a run-out appeal and picked up two more. He stole a leg bye, exposed Mitchell Starc who couldn't put away a short ball but also managed to sneak a leg bye. There were memories of Johannesburg 2011, when Cummins snatched a Test win for Australia with the bat. He did it again this time when he swung and missed, but it didn't hurt Sixers as the wicketkeeper Heino Kuhn was way off the mark with his throw and, despite a collision with the bowler amid the frenzy, Cummins managed to crawl to the other end to secure a thriller.

A nailbiter seemed unlikely after the electric start provided by the openers Michael Lumb and Steve O'Keefe, who was in his makeshift role due to Shane Watson's departure to Australia. The pair added 54 in just under five overs with clean hits, each boundary met by a hush from the crowd. The first eight overs contained at least one boundary. The ninth was the start of Titans' comeback, via their spinners. Eden Links clean bowled O'Keefe for 32 and the following over by Roelof van der Merwe produced two wickets, including a run-out. It was the first of two communication breakdowns in Sixers' innings - Steve Smith and Nic Maddinson found themselves stranded on two separate occasions and Sixers had slipped from 85 for 1 after eight overs to 115 for 5 after 13.

Van der Merwe came back well after being caned in his opening over but a couple of meaty blows by Moises Henriques narrowed the equation. The match see-sawed again when Henriques and Nathan McCullum fell off consecutive balls, and it came down to Cummins to secure the highest-successful chase in this edition of the tournament.

That the match even had a competitive ring to it though was thanks to contrasting half-centuries by two Titans batsmen with similar sounding names. Henry Davids batted through the innings with 59 off 44 balls while David Wiese made the most of his relatively short stint with an unbeaten 61 off 28 balls.

Titans were at an underwhelming 91 for 5 after 16 overs, desperate for a push. Wiese began his onslaught by lofting Cummins high over midwicket and in the same over fetched back-to-back fours to take 15 off the over. It was a sign of things to come as Wiese bludgeoned consecutive sixes over the on side off Henriques in an over that leaked 23. They ransacked 72 off the last four overs and Wiese brought up the tournament's fastest fifty - off 25 balls - to give Sixers something to think about. In the end it was fitting that Sixers, the most dominant side in the competition, made the final.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on October 28, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    @Blythesville on (October 28 2012, 01:16 AM GMT) Have you actually watched the tournament at all or are you just booing because T+T are no longer in it? T+T were knocked out fair and square - even if the qualifying system was a bit harsh. But many of the matches have gone down to the wire and the second semi final couldn't have been more entertaining. Even in this semi final Lions won by defending a sub 140 score. Surely - while we all like to see big scores posted - it's good that when a side posts around 130-140 it hasn't necessarily meant game over in the side batting second's favour.

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    @Newlandsfaithful - T20 is "new". It is "not cricket", you should not harp on the difference between T20 and test cricket. By now every one knows that it is different. Yet it is great entertainment, which caters for every TV viewer, the young and the old alike. It is a tremendous plus for the sport. I love T20, I love ODI, I love test cricket most of all, just like I love my 3-course meals at times. I don't expect soup or fish to be the main course, yet they are all nice.

  • carl on October 27, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    i feel the man of the match award should have gone to either, wiese, for a phenomenal innings, or cummins for holding his nerve in the most tense situation that cricket offers, these two both gave the game something special, the stuff of dreams, at least one should have been rewarded.

  • Dummy4 on October 27, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Sydney deserves the trophy. Hope for the best for Sydney Sixers. Hope Shane Watson's gap would not hamper their journey.

  • Axe on October 27, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    @ WickyRoy.paklover - That means I'm on right path. Thank You ! You are my idol.

  • Salem Ramaaswamy on October 27, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    I do not understand why IPL teams are derided despite two of them winning the last two titles away and home; Even CSk did not lose two matches meekly. Watch Duplesis/Suresh RAina's innings against Sydney. But for Steve Smith's excellent catching they wpuld have chased 185 and poor handling of bowling by Dhoni cost the other against Lions -No excuses- It happens to every team. But you cannot deny that CSK is the most consistent IPL/CLT 20 team

    Majoity of this site is jealous of IPL/CSK. It is bitter to swallow the fact. Because of well organised IPL[despite its limited shortcomings] CLT20 is alive and commercially popular too--Two deserving teams are in final Move on guys --STop IPL bashing [ even when they are not playing ]

  • Ron on October 27, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    An exciting match with a strange ending. If Pakistan had called up their most expensive bowler for the night to bowl the final crucial over when the man of the match for both batting and bowling was available (Wiese) would questions not have been asked? Or was this just one more example of Saffers rigidity with sticking to a plan regardless of circumstances? Well done to the Sixers though; they held their nerve and produced. Cummins is a remarkable young man.

  • John on October 27, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    This tournament has had some intriguing matches - and this was one of them. In fact this has been a relatively interesting tournament. In comparison I think the IPL is too long, too drawn out with too many meaningless matches. Believe it or not T20 can be quite boring at times. And despite the hype, this tournament has proved that the IPL does not the best on offer. Test match cricket is still the best format anyway. The difference between T20 and test cricket is like the difference between watching cartoons and a great movie. The cartoon will be flashy and give you a giggle, but only the movie leaves you properly entertained. T20 is for kids. And if we have to watch it - at least get on with it and don't drag the tournament out for months on end.

  • Dummy4 on October 27, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    the ploy of skipper haddin to open with okeefe worked so nicely..

  • Ali on October 27, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    all 8 ipl teams shud be included in clt20 next time Plz...4 not enuf

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