Sydney Sixers reached the Champions League Twenty20 final after a thrilling two-wicket win over the Nashua Titans.
With the Sixers requiring 28 off the final three overs, Pat Cummins (14 off 10 balls) batted until the end and struck the winning runs to ensure the Australian unit progressed to the final to take on the Highveld Lions on Sunday.
Chasing 164 for victory, Steve O’Keefe (32 off 21 balls) and Michael Lumb (33 off 19 balls) gave the Sixers an ideal start with a 54-run stand for the first wicket, before Alfonso Thomas (2-36) dismissed Lumb in the fifth over to halt the run charge.
O’Keefe fell to Eden Links (1-24) in the eighth over and the Sixers’ innings was dented severely when Brad Haddin (three off 5 balls) and Nic Maddinson (20 off 15 balls) fell in the 10th over.
Steven Smith’s run-out for three off six balls only added to the Sydney side's woes as they struggled to get the runs on the board. Moises Henriques (28 off 18 balls) and Ben Rohrer (21 off 24 balls) added valuable runs to the tally to steady the innings before Cummins took the Sixers across the finish line after the loss of eight wickets.
Earlier, a stunning comeback from the Titans saw them post a challenging 163-5, powered by an unbeaten 81-run stand between Henry Davids (59 off 44 balls) and David Wiese (61 off 28 balls).
Opting to bat first, the Titans' Jacques Rudolph failed to get runs on the board as he fell to Josh Hazlewood (1-19) in the first over. Mitchell Starc (2-33) then struck a double blow to first clean up Heino Kuhn (13 off 15) and Martin van Jaarsveld (five off four balls) in consecutive overs.
Cummins (1-51) pitched in to send back the in-form Farhaan Behardien (14 off 21 balls) in the 13th over before Henriques struck in the 14th to dismiss Roelof van der Merwe (one off three) to leave the Titans reeling at 82-5.
But opener Davids smashed three boundaries and as many sixes to hold on to his end as Wiese took charge of the scoring.
The Sixers conceded a whopping 72 runs in the final four overs as Wiese scored six boundaries and four sixes to bring up his half-century, the fastest in the tournament to take the Titans to a commendable total.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 27 October, 2012 7:35AM AEST