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Centurion: Sydney Sixers kept its cool to beat Nashua Titans by two wickets in a nerve-wracking second semifinal of the Champions League Twenty20 here on Friday.
Needing eight runs from the final over to reach the target of 164, Sydney Sixers’ Pat Cummins held his nerve to scamper home for a bye off the last delivery as the Big Bash champion won the most thrilling match of an otherwise drab Twenty20 competition.
Sixers started the chase in right earnest as opener Steve O’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 Sydney reach 50 in the fifth over. But, Lumb was dismissed by Alfonso Thomas after scoring 33 off 19 balls.
O’Keefe, however, didn’t let the momentum drop as Sydney progressed at 10 per over.
O’Keefe was finally bowled for 32 off 21 balls when he tried a wild slog of Links. He hit six fours.
O’Keefe dismissal brought about a collapse as skipper Brad Haddin and Nic Maddinson, who scored a quick 20, were back in the dug-out.
From 85 for one, Sydney was 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, Sydney was 132 for seven.
But Cummins and Ben Rohrer ensured that the Australian outfit stayed in contention going into the last over.
Earlier, David Wiese’s brilliant counter-attacking innings helped Nashua Titans reach a commendable 163 for five.
Wiese came in when Titans was tottering at 82 for five and then carried out a swift yet brutal assault smashing an unbeaten 61 off only 28 balls — his 50 came off 25 balls with five fours and four huge sixes.
Along with opener Henry Davids, who carried his bat through with an impressive 59 not out in 44 balls (3x4, 3x6), Wiese added 81 runs in only 6.3 overs.
The last six overs produced a whopping 79 runs after the first 14 fetched them only 84 runs at the expense of five wickets..
Titans: J. Rudolph c Lumb b Hazlewood 1, H. Davids (not out) 59, H. Kuhn b Starc 13, M. van Jaarsveld c Cummins b Starc 5, F. Behardien c McCullum b Cummins 14, R. van der Merwe c Haddin b Henriques 1, D. Wiese (not out) 61; Extras (b-2, lb-3, w-4): 9; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 163.
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-22, 3-36, 4-79, 5-82.
Sydney Sixers bowling: Hazlewood 4-0-19-1, Starc 4-0-33-2, Cummins 4-0-51-1, O’Keefe 4-0-19-0, Henriques 4-0-36-1.
Sydney Sixers: S. O’Keefe b Links 32, M. Lumb c van Jaarsveld b Thomas 33, N. Maddinson run out 20, B. Haddin c Links b van der Merwe 3, S. Smith run out 3, M. Henriques c Links b Mbhalata 27, B. Rohrer c van der Merwe b de Villiers 21, N. McCullum lbw b Thomas 0, P. Cummins (not out) 14, M. Starc (not out) 0; Extras (b-1, lb-5, w-5): 11; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 164.
Fall of wickets: 1-54, 2-85, 3-92, 4-92, 5-113, 6-132, 7-132, 8-158.
Titans bowling: Links 3-0-24-1, Mbhalata 4-0-33-1, Thomas 3-0-25-2, de Villiers 3-0-31-1, van der Merwe 4-0-23-1, Wiese 2-0-11-0.— PTI