Sydney Sixers mauled the Highveld Lions by 10 wickets to clinch the Champions League T20, 2012


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By Francis Saldanha
Bellevision Media Network

Johannesburg, 30 Oct 2012: Champions LeagueT20 (CLT20) is an initiative of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Cricket Australia (CA) and Cricket South Africa (CSA). The tournament is a platform where the world’s best domestic T20 teams get the opportunity to pit their skills against each other.

 

South Africa is the host, for the fourth edition of cricket’s premier international club competition at Centurion, Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, from 9 October 2012 to 28 October 2012. The event featuring a galaxy of international cricketing stars, who will be part of fourteen champion teams, from as many as eight countries. This is the second time South Africa has hosted the tournament, after a successful event in 2010 when Chennai Super Kings defeated Warriors in the final at Wanderers in Johannesburg. The 2009 and 2011 editions of the tournament were played in India.

 

The Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 is a unique competition that showcases the domestic champions from around the world. We will be privileged to see superstars from all corners of the globe such as Sachin Tendulkar (India), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka), Shane Watson (Australia), who has been the standout performer at the current ICC World Twenty20, Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Kieron Pollard (West Indies), Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) and Kevin Petersen (England)

 

It is not only those stars who had thrilled the fans both at the grounds and on ESPN Star Sports and its broadcasters around the globe, but also the emergence of a new era of stars who have yet to cut their teeth on the international stage. It is this quality of showcasing the best domestic T20 teams from around the world that makes the Karbonn Smart Champions League T20 such a special tournament.

 

The Mumbai Indians who won in Chennai last year and the other competing teams for the 2012 tournament from India are Kolkata Knight Riders, as well as Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils in this blockbuster T20 event. Included for the first time ever the participation of Pakistan T20 champions the Sialkot Stallions. From South Africa Titans and Highveld Lions  Australia -   Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers, West Indies - Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand - Auckland Aces, Sri Lanka – Winner of Sri Lanka’s Domestic T20 Championship – UVA, England – Winner Yorkshire and runner-up Hampshire of the domestic T20

 

The sell-out Johannesburg crowd anticipated a special day, seen in the buzz around the stadium, showing the tournament wasn’t meaningless. But Lions’ lackluster show killed it.
Sydney Sixers won the Champions League Twenty20 2012 with ease, walking to a 10-wicket victory over Highveld Lions in the final at The Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday (October 28). It was a one-sided encounter, and the Sydney bowlers will take due credit for the win, restricting the Lions to 121, before the batsmen completed the chase with aplomb.

 

Despite the small target, Michael Lumb was in no mood to wait, scoring an unbeaten half-century at a strike-rate over 195. He was well assisted by Brad Haddin, his captain, who scored an assured 38 In the course of his 82, Lumb, after scoring 82 off 42, became the highest run getter of the tournament, going past Gulam Bodi, Neil McKenzie and Jacques Rudolph. The strong opening partnership ensured that the Sixers got to their target with 45 balls to spare, leaving the Lions’ supporters thoroughly disappointed.

 

Sydney Sixers, the winners of the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia, were the only team to remain unbeaten throughout the tournament. They began with a 14-run win in a high-scorer against Chennai Super Kings and won their next three matches convincingly until they were stretched to the final ball in the semi-final against Titans.

 

Sydney Sixers had one of the strongest seam-bowling attacks in the competition, comprising Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins. However, Haddin chose to open with his spinners, Nathan McCollum and Steve O’Keefe, and the change in strategy worked in Sixers’ favour as Highveld Lions top order suffered a meltdown. The hosts were reeling at 9 for 4 and despite a fighting innings by Jean Symes, Lions couldn’t post a challenging total. What Sydney went on to do with the bat can only be just reward for their dominance of this tournament. They have bossed it and earned the right to bully the Lions’ bowling in that fashion. There was some bitter irony in that the man who piloted the cruise liner was Johannesburg born Michael Lumb, who was adjudged the Man of the Match for scoring an unbeaten 82 off 42 balls, Mitchell Starc, who was awarded the Man of the Series for his outstanding bowling throughout the tournament.

 

 

Sydney Sixers Team: Brad Haddin (captain/keeper), Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood, Moises Henriques, Michael Lumb, Nathan McCullum, Nic Maddinson, Ian Moran, Peter Nevill, Steve O’Keefe, Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Dominic Thornely.

 

What’s ailing the IPL teams in Champions League T20?

 

All matches down in the Champions League T20 and the IPL teams  have not performed  to high expectations of their supporters except for the Delhi Daredevils, the current IPL champs(KKR), the defending champs(Chennai Super Kings) of this tournament and the most successful franchise in the IPL(Mumbai Indians) have failed to register a win. We look at what has hit the IPL superstars yet again

 

Chennai’s Faf du Plessis has said in an interview that one has to get used to the conditions quickly and most IPL teams are starting off slowly because these are very different conditions for them. And the teams who are used to these conditions like the Australian and South African teams are doing well. Hence it’s no secret that Indian batsmen struggle in bouncy conditions. No wonder then the Delhi pacers Irfan Pathan, Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav took apart the KKR batting line-up in a league match.

 

But the curious thing is that it was in these very conditions that the Super Kings won the Champions League T20 title in 2010. This time around the Men in yellow have suffered two defeats. And the strategies have backfired while both batting and bowling first. Strategic errors have hurt the other IPL teams too but the biggest problem that the IPL teams are facing is the failure of most of their key players, both with the bat and the ball. In fact in the top 20 run getters of the tournament so far, there are only 2 IPL players - Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis while Sunil Narine is the only IPL bowler in the top 10 wicket takers so far.

 

At the beginning of CLT20, 2012 both Indian and South African supporters have been turning up in large numbers for the matches but one can see the crowd’s at the knock out stage except in the Final. Also teams from SA & Australia have been selected & groomed only for T20 where killer instinct is essential. All the Indian teams have selected players who are ’Jack of all trades’ type. They look totally out of place in all departments of the game.

 

CLT20 to South Africa were driven by several reasons, including the Indian monsoons and a five-day festival in the east of the country. A country where cricket is considered a religion and cricketers demi-Gods, we have a situation where tournaments are being conceptualized to match the popularity of football. But it’s a far-fetched thought. Cricket tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) have been introduced thinking they can match the success rate of EPL and the UEFA Champions League. But the idea has failed miserably

 

CLT20 which has gone downhill since its inception almost everything in CLT20 involves India. From sponsors, venue, advertising, teams and players, everything banks on India. In cricket, out of ten teams this time, four are from India, two from Australia and two from South Africa - the three boards organizing the event. That leaves the other eight ICC full members to fight out for two spots, which this time has gone to New Zealand’s Auckland Aces and England’s Yorkshire.

 

In CLT20 cricket, the competition is generally between four to five sides. The other odd thing with CLT20 cricket is that players are allowed to play for more than one club, which is, simply unreasonable. It’s down to players to decide which team he will play and then their home team is paid a handsome amount (US $150,000) to allow them to play for their IPL franchise.

 

It cannot be ignored that the financial incentive in this competition is huge. Even though they lost, the Highveld Lions walked away with US$1.3 million - of which the team will get half, a quarter will be given to their franchise and the last quarter shared between South Africa’s other franchises. Sydney Sixers team got US$2.5 million and while that will serve as, perhaps even major motivation, it was not everything. In those moments when they planned, executed and ultimately sealed their victory, Sydney Sixers changed the air around the Wanderers. And for that, the Champions League can record some success!

 Pics Courtesy: ESPNCricinfo.com

 

 

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