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CLT20 Staff in Johannesburg

Smith expects a good showdown between two quick attacks

Sixers skipper hopes for some good pace and bounce out of Wanderers tomorrow

By remaining unbeaten in the CLT20 2012 so far, the Sydney Sixers have emerged as the strongest side in the tournament. Backed by an international bowling attack, the Brad Haddin-led side ran through their opponents with precision until they came up against the Titans in the second same-final. Although they faltered a little during the clash, they held their nerve and emerged triumphant in a last-ball finish. And it will be that ability to hold their nerve under pressure that will hold them in good stead when they face off against the Highveld lines in the final at the Wanderers on Sunday evening.

The champions of Australia’s Big Bash League will be taking on the Alviro Petersen-led Lions who also field a potent bowling attack and are keen to lift the trophy in front of their home crowd. The Sixers’ vice-captain Steven Smith who addressed the media in absence of skipper Brad Haddin [who had to go for a thumb scan after suffering an injury during the final] was positive that they will have a good contest in the final and hoped to make amends for another Australian team, New South Wales’, loss in the semi-final of the 2011 edition.

Excerpts from Smith’s interaction with the media ahead of the final:

On their close win in the semi-final against the Titans

It was a close game in the end. We have had few opportunities probably to win the game [smoothly]. [The match] took a few turns here and there but in the end we got home. Hopefully tomorrow is a little bit different.

On what went wrong

I don’t think so. It was one of those things; cricket happens like that, the game changes and there were probably points in the game that we didn’t nail as well as we would have liked. When David Wiese came out to bat we were on top, but he played an unbelievable innings and struck the ball to all parts [of the ground]. Then there were a few chances with the bat as well, we were cruising to a point when a few run-outs and few wickets put us under pressure and we faltered a little. But the boys came back in the end; we are happy to get home.

On what they will need to do differently for the final tomorrow

It is just about doing the basics right and throughout the tournament we have done that pretty well. Last night was little bit of a slip and we are going to learn from that hopefully and tomorrow when we get back we go back to getting the small things right and hopefully if we do that we will be there right at the end.

On playing in front of Lions’ home crowd

That’s part of the game and hopefully there will be a good crowd out there and a good atmosphere and hopefully we will be able to play some good cricket and put in show for them.

On the contest between the bowling attacks of both sides

As we both said our quick attacks are very experienced and very good at this format. Hopefully this wicket will have some good pace and some good bounce and it should be a good showdown between the two quick attacks.

On the facing the Highveld Lions’ bowling attack

They have got some very good Twenty20 bowlers like Dirk Nannes, Sohail Tanvir and Chris Morris who have done very well throughout this tournament as well. They have got some great fire power and hopefully our quicks can play that role as well and do very well. And our batters can play well against their bowling attack as well.

On missing Brad Haddin if his injury rules him out of the final

Brad Haddin is a quality player and he has led this team very well throughout this tournament as well. He has gone off for a scan this morning and hopefully he will be alright. He managed to go out there last night and bat and felt alright. So hopefully he will be okay for tomorrow’s game.

On changes in the side if Haddin can’t play

We will need to bring in another wicketkeeper. I am not sure what will happen. It is up to him and the support staff to say what will happen. But I am sure he will be fine tomorrow.

On changes in the line-up

I am not sure. Haddin has changed the team pretty much every game. So he is always up for a bit of element of surprise. I am not sure with what he will go in tomorrow. We will have to wait and see.

On winning the trophy

We are desperate to win. We were there [in the semi-final] last year. A lot of the boys who were part of the New South Wales team that got knocked out in the semi-final are here now. It is a big tournament and it’s a chance to showcase your skills on the international stage as a domestic team. We look to win this trophy and it means a lot to all of us. So we are going to come out and play our best cricket and hopefully we will win in the end. 

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