| Shane Watson of the Sixers in action against Highveld Lions at Newlands on Thursday |
Cape Town: Sydney Sixers became the first team from Group B to seal a semi-final berth in Champions League T20 with their five-wicket victory over the Highveld Lions, on Thursday.
Chasing 138 for victory, the Sixers eased to 141 for five with one over to spare. Shane Watson was once again instrumental grabbing two wickets and then top-scoring with a 38-ball 47. Captain Brad Haddin chipped in with 32, while Michael Lumb (22) and Steven Smith (25 not out) were also among runs.
Thursday’s victory was the Sixers’ third win in a row and they are yet to be beaten in the tournament.
Sixers’ Mitchell Starc, who had superb bowling figures of three for 19 off his four overs, was declared the Man of the Match. For the Lions’, spinner Aaron Phangsio bowled excellently to return figures of three for 14, but unfortunately that couldn’t stop the Sixers.
The Lions have eight points from three matches and are still very much in with a chance of making the semi-finals. Their last group league game is against Yorkshire, on Saturday.
Earlier, the Lions scored 56 runs off their last 57 deliveries, losing seven wickets, to completely undo a quick start provided by Gulam Bodi, who scored 61 off 44. Although Jean Symes provided a quick 23 in the end, Lions ended with 137.
Bodi and Symes continued in the same form that had helped Lions win their previous match, against the Chennai Super Kings. They scored 84 in 10 overs between them, but the rest managed just 53. That, ultimately, cost them the match.
Bodi kept hitting the ball over mid-wicket and extra cover. Pat Cummins’ first over went for 14, and Mitchell Starc went for a huge six in his first.
Hazlewood, though, got Alviro Petersen in his first, and Watson did that to Quinton de Kock in his second. De Kock, who scored a fifty against Mumbai Indians, managed just four off 14.
Neil Mckenzie went back for 17 off 16 when Hazlewood when he opened the face to Hazlewood in the 11th over, managing only an edge.Symes and Bodi pushed Lions back on track a 29-run partnership in 3.4 overs, but Starc came back with both their wickets in the 18th over.