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Match Report

CLT20 Desk in Mumbai

Match Report: Semi Final 2 – Sydney Sixers vs Titans

Sixers prevail in a last-ball thriller to join Lions in CLT20 2012 final

Sydney Sixers prevailed by two wickets in a last-ball thriller against the Titans to win the second semi-final of the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 2012. The Australian team will now take on the Highveld Lions in the final at the Wanderers on Sunday.

While the win was a complete team effort on the part of the Sixers, Man of the Match, Steve O’Keefe stood out with his all-round performance. After returning with an economical bowling spell of 0-19 in four overs, the left-arm spinner got his team to a brisk start with the bat. He scored 32 off 21 balls with six fours during his 54-run opening stand with Michael Lumb.

The Sixers were cruising along in their chase of 164 runs at 85 for 1 in 8.1 overs when O’Keefe was clean bowled by Eden Links. There were no notable partnerships thereafter and the Sixers seemed to be throwing away a game that was in their grasp. A little bit of panic set into the chase as was reflected by two run-outs – those of Nic Maddinson (20) and Steve Smith (3). However, Moises Henriques (28 off 18) and Ben Rohrer (21 off 24) produced crucial cameos in the middle order to keep the Sixers’ hopes alive. In the end, young fast bowler Pat Cummins displayed maturity and calmness under pressure, scoring vital 14 runs that included a crucial six.

The drama went on till the last ball after the Sixers needed eight runs off the final over. CJ de Villiers got Rohrer off the second ball of the over and the tension mounted. Cummins was on strike with one run required off the final ball. He wisely ran after missing the ball and carried the Sixers across the line.

Earlier, it was David Wiese who stole the show after the Titans decided to bat first. The start was inauspicious as Josh Hazlewood got Jacques Rudolph out in the first over. Wickets fell at regular intervals and opener Henry Davids (59 off 44 balls) failed to find an able partner. But instead of panicking, Davids kept a cool head on his shoulders and anchored the innings commendably. His wait paid off when Wiese walked in to bat at No.7.

The burly all-rounder was in his element. He hit boundaries at will against the highly-rated pace attack that has been the Sixers’ strength right through the tournament. At one point the Titans’ run-rate was below six per over. But after Wiese stormed his way to a 28-ball 61*, it rose above eight. Wiese’s knock included six fours and four sixes. He did the bulk of scoring in his undefeated 81-run stand with Davids, which came at phenomenal 12.46 runs per over.

Brief Scores: Titans 163/5 in 20 overs (Davis 59, Wiese 61*; Starc 2/33, Hazlewood 1/19) lost to Sydney Sixers 164/8 in 20 overs (O’Keefe 32, Lumb 33, Smith 28; Thomas 2/36, van der Merwe 1/23)

Man of the Match: Steve O’ Keefe for his 21-ball 32-run knock and bowling spell of 4 overs for 19 runs

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