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Shirin Sadikot in Centurion

Titans were terrific opponents: Smith

Sydney Sixers all-rounder admits they were lucky to ‘sneak home’ in thrilling semi-final

The second semi-final of the CLT20 was perhaps, the most thrilling match of the tournament so far. It swung like a pendulum until the very last ball and in the end the Sydney Sixers won the battle of nerves against the Titans. Sixers’ all-rounder Steven Smith put it aptly, “The Titans were terrific opposition and they played great cricket throughout the tournament. It’s just that we were lucky to sneak home in the end.”

After picking a wicket in the first over of the match and keeping the Titans’ run-rate below six for the best part of their innings, the Sixers seemed to be certain winners. However, David Wiese’s phenomenal knock of 61 runs off 28 balls shifted the momentum towards the Titans. From there, the fate of the match became impossible to predict.

“We started beautifully with the bat; we were flowing and had 70-odd runs in seven overs, chasing 164. We were cruising before the fall of wickets put us on the back foot. There were a few occasions where we struck back in and they got back into it again. There was never any moment where we thought we had the match in our hands,” Smith said.

“We did our best to let them back in the game and it was a very tight finish. You couldn’t have asked for a better spectacle. We just managed to scrape back home in the end,” he said after his team’s two-wicket win off the last ball.

The Sixers will hardly have any time to recover from this humdinger of a match before they focus on the big final on Sunday. This will be the second contest between the two finalists in this tournament, the first being won the Australian side by five wickets, at Newlands. Smith believes that result will give them an edge.

“They’re a quality side and have played very well so far. The fact that we have defeated them in the tournament once, will give us a little bit of extra confidence going into the match,” he said. “For us it’s just about going back to the basics and playing smart cricket. If we play the way we know we can play, we’ll be right there at the end of this tournament,” Smith’s confidence in the Sixers not unfounded given their unbeaten record in the tournament so far.

“The complacency can creep in sometimes but we are here to do a job and there’s no point losing focus after reaching this stage. We have done well so far and we want to end up winning the big prize,” Smith concluded.

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