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

Title win was no fluke - Haddin

ESPNcricinfo staff

Brad Haddin, the victorious Sydney Sixers captain, has said his side's comprehensive ten-wicket-win in the Champions League final was no fluke, and that they had been preparing for the big game for over two weeks. Sixers restricted the home side Lions to a below-par 121 on a Wanderers pitch expected to favour the batsmen, and needed just 12.3 overs to chase the target.

Sixers, the winners of the Big Bash League in Australia, were the only team to remain unbeaten throughout the tournament. They began with a 14-run win in a high-scorer against Chennai Super Kings and won their next three matches convincingly until they were stretched to the final ball in the semi-final against Titans.

"We've been building for this the last two weeks. If you look at the start of the tournament we were very nervous," Haddin said. "We had a lot of nervous energy in the first game and the semi-final, but leading into today's game we were quite relaxed. I'm just glad it came on the big stage. We've worked hard and the performance tonight wasn't a fluke."

Sixers had one of the strongest seam-bowling attacks in the competition, comprising Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. However, Haddin chose to open with his spinners, Nathan McCullum and Steve O'Keefe, and the change in strategy worked in Sixers' favour as Lions top order suffered a meltdown. The hosts were reeling at 9 for 4 and despite a fighting innings by Jean Symes, Lions couldn't post a challenging total.

Haddin said giving the second over to the left-arm spinner O'Keefe was a spontaneous decision.

"I made the decision to give O'Keefe the second over after the fourth ball of the first, but I was always going to open with McCullum," Haddin said. "They would have been looking at our fast bowlers leading to this game and I don't think their two openers would have been thinking too much about our spinners. Tonight it paid off. I think Lions were quite surprised we did that. They (spinners) allowed our quicks, the best bowlers, to bowl the last ten overs.

Haddin said the win was a result of contributions from several players. "I said to our guys at the start of the game that there's going to be some big moments and if we did the simple things right then they will crack before us, and they did. We did very well in the BBL with our fielding, it won us a lot of games or put us in good positions," Haddin said.

"We built a lot of pressure, we were able to get wickets early, which in Twenty20 is a big bonus. In the first over, Nathan was hit for a six but came back and took a wicket."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sam on October 29, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    I am happy that Sixers won. They were easily the best side in the tournament. The second best side in the tournament were the Titans. I didn't like the Highveld Lions one bit. They only had four talented cricketers: De Kock, Mckenzie, Morris and Phangiso. Petersen is solid alright but nothing more. Nannes is too old. There are 20 better fast bowlers in Pakistan than Tanvir. I think both Titans and Delhi Daredevils were far better than them (ok, Delhi lost to them due to foolish tactics but that doesn't mean they were the worser team). They played well but were also plain lucky to be in the finals (and I think even in Semis).

  • Andrew on October 29, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    @at bloke with funny spelling on (October 29 2012, 05:25 AM GMT) & P Vandermaal - oops!!!!!!!!! Steve who?

  • Dummy4 on October 29, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    @Meety - How could you forget Steve 'Tugga' Waugh??

  • Prasanna on October 29, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    I would say Haddin is a very good batsman, but unfortunately he has been very inconsistent with the bat. I would love to see those bloody cover drives and when is on flow, he is a treat to watch. But Aus has moved on and it would be fair to say that Haddin didnt make best use of the chances given to him. Good one Brad anyway for the victory !!

  • Dummy4 on October 29, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    @Meety. I generally like your comments but how could you forget SWaugh - 5 in 25yrs

  • Andrew on October 29, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    @ Cpt.Meanster on (October 29 2012, 01:00 AM GMT) - sorry mate, I disagree re: Haddin v Pup. I think Pup will become Oz's best captain ever. Haddin was a great Shield captain for NSW & I think that is a major reason why a straightforward decision on Wade v Haddin has been tough for the selectors. Haddin clearly has a very good cricketing brain. That said, I think Pup has absorbed his style from Warne, + a touch of Haddin & Tubby Taylor. If I was in charge of Oz cricket (& had 20/20 vision in hindsight - LOL!) I would of had Haddin captain the Oz T20 side to SL. I think he would of been a key player of spin + a better holder of a position in a T20 side than Bailey. The problem with selecting Haddin as captain would of meant that Oz would of had to change captains in a short period of time - not something we do by choice in Oz. Excluding Gilly, Oz's captaincy since the mid80s has been Border/Taylor/Punter/Pup. 4 captains in over 25 years! Haddin would of struggled to be captain for 2yrs.

  • Tom on October 29, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    Undefeated through comp.. best team won. Seriously though, South African sides should not be allowed into the finals of any tourny. Let them compete in the group stage then regardless of their win/loss ratio they should be knocked out by default. Let teams that can perform in finals series through even if they have won less games.

  • Jay on October 29, 2012, 1:00 GMT

    @Meety: Haddin was indeed an astute captain. Can't believe Pup was offered the captaincy of Australia !! At least in the limited overs formats, Haddin should be the skip. What's your say on that ?

  • Michael on October 29, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    @Kitschiguy: Humourous as your comment is, when you get to the final and you're playing well, winning the match isn't a fluke. The Sixers had at least a 50/50 chance, and after the Lions collapsed in the first few overs the Sixers were well on top. Congrats to the Sixers, they've all put in hard work and deserve their win.

  • Andrew on October 28, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    @Kitschiguy on (October 28 2012, 21:38 PM GMT) - I know that comment was a play on words, but really an undefeated team?

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