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Sydney Sixers rout poor Lions by 10 wickets to win Champions League T20

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The Sydney Sixers thrashed the Highveld Lions by 10 wickets in a one-sided Final of the Champions League Twenty 20 to be crowned the new, Champions. The Australian outfit dominated the contest with both bat and ball, knocking over the Lions for 121 and then chasing down the target in just 12.3 overs without losing any wickets. A battling half-century from Jean Symes gave the Lions' bowlers something to compete with after the South African side's top order had collapsed to a poor 9-4 in 3.3 overs. Josh Hazzlwood and Nathan McCullum shared 6 wickets evenly between them, while Michael Lumb stared with the bat for the Sixers, smashing an unbeaten 82 from just 42 balls, hitting 5 sixes and 8 boundaries to seal what was an easy win.

The Sydney Sixers won the toss and opted to bowl first, and surprised their opponents by opening with spin at both ends. Nathan McCullum was hit for a six by Gulam Bodi on the third ball of the first over, but got his man on the very next ball to put the Lions in early strife. McCullum was immediately replaced by Josh Hazzlewood, and it proved to be a masterstroke from Sydney skipper Brad Haddin with the fast bowler striking twice in his opening over to remove Quinton de Kock and Neil McKenzie for 1 and 0 respectively.

Haddin kept spin on at the other end in form of Steven O'Keefe operating from the other end, and once again his decision making proved to be spot on with Alviro Petersen falling also for 1, caught at slip.

Jean Symes and Sohail Tanvir, bumped up the order to no.5, restored some sanity to proceedings, sharing in a 23-run stand for the 5th wicket before McCullum came back and trapped the Pakistani fast-bowler leg before for 11.

With the game slipping away from the Lions, Symes decided to take charge and found some useful partners in Thami Tsolekile (20) and Dwaine Pretorious (21), who helped him take the Lions past the 100 run mark.

Symes eventually fell for 51, and the Lions somehow managed to bat out their 20 overs, losing their last wicket on the final ball of the innings, ending with 121 runs to show for their evening's work.

Haddin continued to spring surprises on the opposition, coming out to open the batting with Michael Lumb despite nursing an injured thumb. The Lions responded well with ball, sneaking through three overs conceding just 8 runs, however, they failed to pick up a wicket. Haddin responded by spanking Chris Morris for two boundaries in the fourth over with Lumb also picking up a four to give some impetus to the Sixers' innings.

The Sixers reached 33-0 at the end of the powerplay, and despite their slow scoring rate had seen off the best of the Lions' bowlers to put themselves in good stead.

Aaron Phangiso, the Lions' player of the tournament thus far, should have got the wicket of Lumb for 17, but Bodi dropped the left-hander on the boundary. It was to prove an exceptionally costly miss.

Sydney began their charge in the next over, taking 17 off Dirk Nannes and followed it up with 21 off Phangiso's second over. Lumb had suddenly sped from 17 from 21 balls to 55 in 34 as the Sixers reached the midway stage of their chase at 88-0.

The runs continued to flow thereafter with the match wrapped up in just 12.2 over Lumb finishing unbeaten on 82 from 42 deliveries, while Haddin watched the assault from the other end, having chipped in with a handy 38.

Despite the anti-climatic feel to the final there was no shortage of entertainment as the Sydney Sixers were crowned the Champions of Champions.


Lions: Gulam Bodi, Alviro Petersen (c), Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie, Dwaine Pretorius, Jean Symes, Chris Morris, Thami Tsolekile (wk), Sohail Tanvir, Dirk Nannes, Aaron Phangiso

Sydney Sixers: Steve O'Keefe, Michael Lumb, Nic Maddinson, Brad Haddin (c & wk), Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, Ben Rohrer, Nathan McCullum, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood

Mini Scorecard:

Lions 121 all out (20 overs, 6.05rpo)
J Symes 51 (46) J Hazzlewood 3-22
D Pretorius 21 (13) N McCullum 3-24

Sydney 124-0 (12.3 overs, 9.92rpo)
M Lumb 82* (42)
B Haddin 38* (33)

Sydney win by 10 wickets