Friday 26 October 2012 

Sydney Sixers Win Last-Ball Thriller To Reach CLT20 Final

Sydney Sixers Win Last-Ball Thriller To Reach CLT20 Final
Sydney Sixers Win Last-Ball Thriller To Reach CLT20 Final
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Sydney Sixers 164-8 (Lumb 33) beat
Nashua Titans 163-4 (Wiese 61no) by 2 wickets
CLT20 semi-final, Centurion Park

Nashua Titans all-rounder David Wiese chose the opportune moment to hit the quickest half-century of the tournament to date but it was not enough as the Sydney Sixers won a last-ball thriller to reach the final of the Champions League Twenty20.

Wiese needed just 25 balls to reach the landmark, driving Titans to a score of 163 for five but they were beaten as James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc scrambled through for a bye from the final ball.

The Sixers closed on 164 for eight with Pattinson unbeaten on 14 in 10 balls, making up for a poor day with the ball with a composed innings.

For the majority of their innings, Titans were struggling but their sluggish start was rectified by a brilliant late surge from half-centurions Henry Davids and David Wiese.

Davids crafted 59 not out in 44 balls while Wiese struck a brutal 61 in 28 deliveries including six fours and four sixes having come together with the score on 82 for five in the 14th over.

The pair hit 15 runs in the 17th over, 23 in the 18th and then 19 from the 19th to undo much of the excellent work the Sixers had done in removing most of the South African danger men.

Jacques Rudolph (1) and Roelof van der Merwe (1) fell to catches behind the wicket, Martin van Jaarsveld (5) and Farhaan Behardien (14) were caught on the off side and Heino Kuhn made 13 before he was bowled by Mitchel Starc.

Starc finished with respectable figures of two for 33 and Steve O'Keefe bowled cleverly to conced just 19 runs from four overs. However, bearing the brunt of the six-hitting parade late on, Patrick Cummins registered figures of one for 51 while Moises Henriques took one for 36.

The Titans turnaround saw them take 105 runs from the final 10 overs having reached just 58 fo three at the halfway stage.

The Sixers then got off to a flying start - exactly what they needed - through O'Keefe and Michael Lumb. A flurry of early boundaries undermined Titans' attempts to keep the batsmen guessing by rotating their bowlers and the pair put on 54 in 4.5 overs before Lumb was caught by van Jaarsveld for 33 in 19 balls off the bowling of Alfonso Thomas.

The departure of the England man did little to halt the scoring rate as O'Keefe carried on the boundary glut along with Nic Maddinson until Eden Links returned to bowl O'Keefe for 32 in 21 balls.

Intelligent bowling from spinners Links and van der Merwe began to exert pressure on the Sixers and it told when Brad Haddin (3) hit van der Merwe high into the air to be caught by Links and from the very next ball, Maddinson (20) was run out as the Sixers slumped to 92 for four at the 10-over stage.

Henriques got off the mark with a flick into the leg side and was then dropped by CJ de Villiers and just when he and Smith looked to be getting the inning back on track, Smith was run out for three as for the second time, the non-striker tried to steal a run to wicket-keeper Kuhn.

Henriques didn't last much longer. After hitting Ethy Mbalahti for six in the 16th over, he tried one more big shot and was caught by Links having hit 27 in 18 balls, leaving his side 32 to win in 24 balls with four wickets remaining.

One ball later Nathan McCullum was on his way having been trapped in front by an outstanding Thomas slower ball yet the Sixers were far from finished. Cummins hit a big six and was then dropped by Behardien and at the end of the penultimate over, the Australians needed eight to win.

Rohrer managed to scoop a brace of runs, then drove de Villiers to van der Merwe and was on his way for 21 in 24 balls. A wide was followed by another two runs to Pattinson and two scrambled singles left the scores level with the final ball to bowl. De Villiers gambled by bowing short of a length, Pattinson missed it, Kuhn missed his throw at the stumps and a bye put Sydney into the final.

© Cricket World 2012

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