Lions v Sydney Sixers, final, CLT20, Johannesburg October 28, 2012

Sydney Sixers sizzle to win Champions League T20


Sydney Sixers 124 for 0 (Lumb 82*, Haddin 37*) beat Lions 121 (Symes 51, Hazlewood 3-22, McCullum 3-24) by 10 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The groundsman, the commentators, the general manager who played at the Wanderers on March 12, 2006, all spoke about the resemblance of the pitch to the 438 game, but the way the Lions started it took major rebuilding to go past 38. Seemingly surprised by Sydney Sixers' spin with new ball from both ends, the Lions batsmen played some average shots to be reduced to 9 for 4, and the little chance that Jean Symes' maiden T20 fifty provided them slipped through their palms with the drops of both the Sydney openers.

This was the second Champions League T20 title for a team from New South Wales; current champions Brad Haddin, Steve O'Keefe, Moises Henriques, Steve Smith and Ben Rohrer were part of the winning NSW squad in 2009 too. Like the previous final, Haddin almost missed this one with an injured thumb, but not only was he spot on with the call at the toss, he spun a rabbit out of his hat after putting Lions in.

Sixers' three fast bowlers could one day form the Australia Test attack, they have been the talk of the tournament, but they opened with two spinners on a pitch that reminded Stuart Clark of his six-over-54-run nightmare at the same venue six years ago. Nathan McCullum, who wasn't called upon to bowl and scored a golden duck in the semi-final, was to perform the opening act of the big night. And it seemed the tournament would get worse for him when Gulam Bodi lofted the third ball of the match over long-on.

Then the leading run-getter of the tournament, Bodi, didn't pause for a breath, and top-edged the next ball straight to deep square leg. A little more meat behind the mis-hit, and it might have travelled all the way in the rarefied Highveld air, and McCullum would have been 13 runs down. As it turned out, it was to be the night of the man from southern New Zealand playing for a southern Australian state.

The rest of the Lions top order then, seemingly over-reaching on the flat track, played some ordinary shots. Quinton de Kock and Neil McKenzie swiped across the line for top edges, and continuing with the momentum O'Keefe snared captain Alviro Petersen with one that turned across him. Symes then put up a lesson for his mates. His hitting through the line and along the ground showed the pitch was flat as expected, and that the shot selection hadn't been spot on.

After the promotion of Sohail Tanvir flopped to make it 32 for 5, Symes added 41 with the hit-and-miss Thami Tsolekile and 38 with the big-hitting Dwaine Pretorius. During the second of those partnerships, Sixers began to make a few mistakes in the field, but Rohrer roared back with a direct hit from point to run Pretorius out. That was Lions' final slide as they lost their last four wickets for 10.

The injured Haddin came out to open with Michael Lumb, and they were cautious against Sohail Tanvir and Dirk Nannes, reaching only 23 after five overs. At the first sight of spin, Lumb tried to break free, but Bodi dropped him at long-off. In the next over, it was Haddin's turn to be dropped, by Pretorius at deep square leg. There wasn't to be a third chance. Just to rub it in, though, Lumb overtook the man who dropped him, Bodi, as the leading run-scorer of the tournament. Mitchell Starc led the wickets tally to make it a clean sweep for Sixers.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on October 30, 2012, 0:05 GMT

    @Indraneel Mandal - great comments! Keep it coming! Unfortunately the answer to your very last question is - NO!

  • Robert on October 29, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    @unregisteredalien: I'm an Australian, and am well aware of its history. You can reason the naming in the way you have all you like and plenty of authors have given other, just as "reasonable" arguments, but the plain fact is (and any professor of australian history, not to mention a great cross-section of books on Australia's early "white" history, will tell you the same) we don't know why Cook named the place New South Wales -- he left no documentation whatsoever regarding it. We don't even know if/why he was referring to Wales -- he had basically no connections with the area either. Whatever your source for your claim for the naming of NSW, its not factual. Sorry.

    And yes, I _know_ NSW is an eastern state. That was my whole point. The _article_ (not me!) claims that it is a southern state -- I think the phrase they used was "a NZder from the south island playing for a southern Australian state", in reference to McCullum. But never let a fact get in the way of a good story, huh?!

  • david on October 29, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Most uninteresting champions league thus far. Thumbs up to the organisers. T20 is an insult to the true art and class of batting an bowling..and should not be compared to test cricket. However though T20 has its place in the future of cricket..we as cricket fans should not condemn test cricket because there lies the history of our great legends who still cannot be surpassed by these "so called T20 cricketers". When interest in this type of cricket emerged in the Hong Kong sixes, it certainly raised fan interest, but it was simply a slogging competition..and not a cricket competition....Leave test match cricket alone!

  • Dummy4 on October 29, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    A five day game with twists and turns cannot be matched by ODIs and T20s, even if it is like the second semi-final of the just-concluded CLT20. Of course you need guts and gumption for that. If you play for a draw or a team bats like the Lankans once did just to score a record Test total against the Indians, things become bearing and it will drive away rather than attract fans. As far as the CLT20 is concerned, the format was absolute crap. It should be like the original Champions League in Europe (supposedly the 'inspiration' for the 'copycat') where top teams from all countries afre seeded directly while others come through the qualifiers. Why should only teams from India. Australia and SA fill up the automatic qualifiers? Just because they are the main sponsors of the tournament? Then the name of the tournament needs to be changed. On a sidenote, do people posting comments always have to behave like brutes? Can't we have a civilised discusion without pointing fingers at one anothr

  • Dummy4 on October 29, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    I'm happy that no IPL team won. None of them deserved to. Ultimately, as in the T20 World Cup, the best two teams played it out in the final. However, that does not mean that T20s will deliver 'fair' results when other formats can't. A T20 game like is like an tennis match with only one set. That way anybody can beat anybody else; it proves nothing. If you are really good you have to prove yourself in the ODIs and Tests. The good thing about T20s is that it allows the weaker teams to put up a fight against or even beat the stronger outfits. ODIs and T20s are simply about holding your own nerves while forcing your opponents to commit mistakes. Of course you have to strategise; but you need much superior strategies to win Tests, specially away from home. The beautiful thing about Tests is that even if things don't go well in one session or innings, you can always learn from mistakes and come back. ODIs or T20s shut out that possibility by limiting the overs.

  • Dummy4 on October 29, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    Would like to add my own two cents to the T20 vs Tests debate. The difference was nicely pointed out by Harsha a few days ago when he compared Tests to classic music. We need one format to 'globalise' the game and another for the so-called purists. I am probably in the minority when I say that all 3 forms (including much maligned ODIs) can co-exist. There, I said it! ODIs should be restricted to tournaments like the World Cup, Asia Cup, etc (I refuse to accept that the T20 World Cup has the same stature or history as the 50 over version). I might be ruffling quite a few feathers here, but I feel that an overdose of games may kill the T20s, just like it happend to ODIs. What we need is everything in moderation. Having two 'world class' (don't know whether the CLT20 can be called that) was an absolutely dumb idea. I had almost zero interest in the latter, and I am sure many others felt the same. If the 'golden goose' is to be killed, then this is the way to go. BTW I am an Indian.

  • akhilesh on October 29, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    this match reminded me of the 2007 world cup semi between aus n south africa. a top order collapse, less than competitive score and an easy chase..

  • Sakthi on October 29, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Well done Sixers and well played Lions. Wonderful tournament.

  • chris on October 29, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    @Marcio, spot on there! i love it, that wide wide one batsman flashes just goes past the edge to the keeper, oohhhhh! theres nothing better than test cricket....

  • Dummy4 on October 29, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Ha ! Ha! Ha! Four Indian teams & not one reached the finals! Go Australia go!

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