Centurion: Sydney Sixers kept their cool to beat the Nashua Titans by two wickets in the nerve-wracking second semi-final of the Champions League T20, here on Friday.
Needing eight runs from the final over to reach the target of 164, the Sixers’ Pat Cummins held his nerves to scamper home for a bye off the last delivery as the Big Bash Champions won the most thrilling match of an otherwise drab T20 competition.
The Sixers will now take on Highveld Lions in the final to be played on Sunday.
The match went to the wire and anybody could have won, but the Sixers ultimately reaped dividends due to a good opening stand. The winners started the chase in right earnest as opener Steve ’Keefe hit off-spinner Eden Links for couple of boundaries. His partner Michael Lumb got two more in the second over from Ethy Mbhalati.
A flurry of boundaries from the duo saw the Sixers reach 50 in the fifth over, but Lumb was dismissed by Alfonso Thomas after scoring 33 off 19 balls. He offered a skier to rival captain Martin van Jaarsveld. Lumb hit six fours and a big six off Thomas.
’Keefe however didn’t let the momentum drop as the Sixers maintained a 10-per-over run-rate. ’Keefe was finally bowled for 32 off 21 balls when he tried a wild slog of Links’ delivery. He hit six fours.
However, ’Keefe’s dismissal brought about a collapse as skipper Brad Haddin and glovesman Nic Maddinson, who scored a quick 20, were back in the dugout. From 85 for one, the Sixers were reduced to 92 for four having lost three wickets in a space of 11 deliveries.
Moises Henriques then again steadied the ship with a brisk 27 that had couple of huge sixes. But once he was gone, the Sixers lost a couple of wickets more in quick succession and were suddenly 132 for seven. But Cummins and Ben Rohrer ensured that the Australians emerge the winners.
Earlier, David Wiese’s brilliant counter-attacking innings helped the Titans reach a commendable 163 for five. The big-bodied Wiese came in when the Titans were tottering at 82 for five and then carried out a swift yet brutal assault smashing an unbeaten 61 off only 28 balls.
The pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Cummins and Henriques were left stunned by the Wiese carnage as he completed his 50 off 25 balls and hit five fours and four huge sixes. He changed his gears suddenly after playing 10 balls without a boundary. (agencies)