Cricket Australia Items/news/2012/10/29/smith

Smith praises opening duo

UPDATED 12 February, 2013 3:52PM AEST | by Omnisport

Sydney Sixers vice-captain Steve Smith paid tribute to Michael Lumb and Brad Haddin for their match-winning performances in the Champions League Twenty20 final.

After dismantling Highveld Lions for just 121, the Sixers claimed a thumping 10-wicket victory on the back of some devastating batting between Lumb and Haddin in Johannesburg.

Lumb hit 82 off 42 deliveries, including eight boundaries and five sixes, while Haddin added 33 off 37 as the Sixers clinched their maiden CLT20 title with 12.3 overs remaining.

"I am more than happy to sit back and watch the boys go out there and play," Smith told

"Lumby (Lumb) and Had (Haddin) got to us a 10-wicket victory. You can't ask for more than that.

Paceman Mitchell Starc echoed his vice-captain's sentiments, highlighting the performances of Lumb and Haddin.

"Brad (Haddin) and Michael (Lumb) showed how good they are to win by 10 wickets," said Starc, who finished as the tournaments leading wicket-tacker with 14.

"It's an amazing thing to do so in the final.

"It was the partnership of the tournament. Obviously, in the final there is a lot of pressure with runs on the board and they made it easy in the end and I think it was fantastic to watch."

The Sixers got off to a flying start on Sunday with their bowling attack taking a stranglehold of the match, in particular spinner Nathan McCullum (3-24).

In a surprise move, the Sixers deployed McCullum and fellow spinner Steve O'Keefe (1-11) from the first over and it paid instant dividends with both striking early.

Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood also chipped in with figures of 3-22 as the Lions were reduced to 5-32 inside the opening six overs and Starc attributed the flurry of wickets to the Sixers' decision to start with spin.

"It was the change of plan to open with the spinners that paid off," he said. "They were four for nine, so it was an amazing start.

They were on the back foot in the first six overs. They played very well to get to 121 in the end but we showed what a great wicket it was to bat."

Meanwhile, Hazlewood dedicated the win to Shane Watson after the all-rounder was ordered home by Cricket Australia almost a fortnight ago.

Watson led the Sixers to a semi-final berth after producing a brilliant all-round performance against their eventual final opponents.

"He'd be very disappointed to miss out on this but he took us as far as he could and contributed to this win," the 21-year-old said.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 29 October, 2012 12:07PM AEST

Tags: CLT20 2012

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