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You are here: Cricket CLT20 Sydney Sixers advance to Champions League Final with thrilling last ball victory over heart-broken Titans

Sydney Sixers advance to Champions League Final with thrilling last ball victory over heart-broken Titans

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The Sydney Sixers beat the Titans in a last ball thriller to get across the line and win the 2nd semi final of the CLT20 2012 at Centurion. Needing 164 to win, the Sixers began in superb fashion, lost their way in the middle and somehow managed to scramble past the finish line with just 2 wickets in hand. Nothing can be taken away from the Titans though, they batted brilliantly and came back strongly in the 2nd innings to give the Sixers a tough battle.

Opting to bat first, the Titans lost a wicket in the first over as opener Jacques Rudolph departed for just 1, caught at thirdman. Due to the early wicket, Heino Kuhn was promoted up the order. The wicket-keeper batsman struck three boundaries before he was dismissed for 13, trying to flick a slightly low one from Mitchell Starc to the leg side. Starc struck again in his next over with a slower delivery that Skipper Van Jaarsveld popped into cover's hands. The Titans were in a spot of bother at 36-3 inside the powerplay.

Henry Davids and Farhaan Behardien looked to settle down and knocked around the ball for the next few overs. Sydney introduced spin immediately after the field restrictions were lifted. Steve O'Keefe conceded just 6 from his first two overs but went for plenty in his third as Davids looked to get a move on striking the first delivery of the over for six over long off. The Titans has meandered along to 66-3 from 11 overs.

Behardien was unable to find the boundary for quite some time and was dismissed for a painstaking 14 from 21 balls, trying to drive one from Pat Cummins that ended up in Nathan McCullum's hands. Roelof van der Merwe followed him to the dugout as he bottom edged one from Moises Henriques straight to Brad Haddin. Davids and Wiese kept the scoreboard ticking for a couple of overs before launching a late assault. The last five overs belonged to the Titans. They yielded 75 as David Wiese struck 6 fours and 4 huge sixes to end at 61* from 28 balls. Davids too brought up his fifty and ended with an unbeaten 59 from 44. The Titans ended on a high at 163-5.

The Sixers sent O'Keefe at the top of the order as a pinch hitter. The openers launched themselves from the word go. Michael Lumb attacked every bowler, striking a couple of classy cover drives, some pulls and flicks, including a six over long-on in his knock of 33 from 19 balls. The Sixers brought up their fifty in the 5th over before Lumb was dismissed by a slower delivery from Alfonso Thomas. The wicket didn't hinder Sydney one bit as O'Keefe and Nic Maddinson continued the onslaught. They notched up 85 in 8 overs. However, the 9th witnessed a turnaround. Eden Links dismissed O'Keefe clean bowled for 32 (21b). The next over saw a double blow as Brad Haddin fell for just 3, caught by Links and the very next ball saw Maddinson run out dueto a bad call by Steve Smith.

The Sixers required 72 from 10 overs with 6 wickets in hand as the scales began to tipping in the favour of the Titans. The fall of another wicket in the 13th over saw the momentum shift even further as Smith was run out due to another terrible mix up. The Titans continued to apply pressure, Wiese's first over conceded just 3.

Moises Henriques came in and struck sixes in consecutive overs, threatening to take the game away from the Titans, but was sent packing by Ethy Mbhalati. The Sixers were finally left needing 32 from 24 balls. Alfonso Thomas struck with the first ball of the 17th over, a brilliant in-swinging slower delivery, dismissing McCullum leg before for naught. The Sixers managed to get 9 in the 18th and 11 off Thomas' last over owing to an unexpected strike by Cummins, clearing the fence.

Needing 8 in the last over, the first ball was scooped over the keeper by Rohrer and the batsmen ran two. The 2nd ball saw Rohrer gift a catch to van der Merwe. This was followed by a wide and a double. Needing 3 from 3, the Sixers managed to scramble a run off every delivery to finally get across the line, despite not connecting cleanly (or at all sometimes) with any of them.

Most of the players played well but there had to be one Man of the Match. It was awarded to Steve O'Keefe for his all round performance (0-19 and 32 from 21 balls).

The Sixers will now meet the Highveld Lions at Johannesburg on Sunday for the grand finale of the CLT20, in what should be one hell'uva final!

Mini Scorecard

Titans 163-5 (20 Overs, 8.15 rpo)
D Wiese 61* (28), M Starc 2-33

Sydney Sixers 164/8 (20 Overs, 8.20 rpo)
M Lumb 33 (19), A Thomas 2-36

Sixers won by 2 wickets