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Preview: Rampaging Sixers would look to maintain winning momentum
by Asher Wilson


Scorecard:Titans v Sydney Sixers
Event:Champions League 2012/13

DateLine: 26th October 2012

 

Sydney Sixers v Titans
2nd Semi Final
Match Preview
Champions League T20 2012

 

A rampaging Sydney Sixers would look to maintain their winning momentum and book a berth in the final when they take on local side Titans in the second semifinal of the Champions League Twenty20 today.

 

Sixers who made short work of clinching their semi final place, had virtually spanked their opponents by winning all four of their matches to breeze through the group stage and they are the most all-round team in the tournament with balance in batting, bowling and fielding departments. This will be their first outing at Supersport Park as their wins so far came against Super Kings (14 runs) at the Wanderers, Yorkshire (eight wickets) and the Lions (five wickets) both at Newlands and Mumbai Indians (12 runs) at Kingsmead.

 

They have thus far avoided any disruption to their momentum through bad weather and despite losing the services of Shane Watson who was recalled by Cricket Australia prior to their final group match, the current Big Bash champions look arguably the team to beat. No Sixers batsmen has a made a fifty in the tournament but no fewer than five have a top score in the 40's.

 

Mitchell Starc has been really impressive with leading the way with 11 wickets in the tournament so far and Hazelwood has a fantastic economy rate of just 4.50 runs per over. It is hard to go past the competitionís leading wicket taker against the competitionís leading run scorer. Mitchell Starc has had a spectacular campaign, snaring 11 wickets at a strike rate of only 8.72. He is three wickets clear of his nearest rival, and has had success in every match he has played. The recent win against Mumbai broke his streak of three consecutive three wicket hauls. Early wickets are essential against the Titans, and he will relish the challenge.

 

Bowling has been a major asset for the Sixers throughout the tournament. Apart from having the leading wicket taker and the fastest bowler, they are one of the most economical teams. The Sydney-siders have combined for 25% of the competitionís maidens (3/12) and have also bowled the most dot balls. Sydney will certainly miss Shane Watson and his absence means that this game could be closer than it suggests.

 

For the Titans, the side have relied a little too heavily on Jacques Rudolph and Henry Davids while the opening pair have struggled for support at times. Rudolph is the tournamentís leading run scorer right now and he is again expected to do the most of the scoring. If the openers fail as they did when the side scored just 89 against the Kolkata Knight Riders, one of the lower order players will have to show some responsibility and put enough scores on the board which they can defend against a fully-loaded sixers batting line-up. The batsmen in contention in this case would be Roelof van der Merwe or David Wiese.

 

The Titans bowlers got some tap from KKR but they have otherwise impressed with the wickets shared around largely between CJD de Villiers (five) and van der Merwe, Thomas and Mbhalati (four a piece)

 

These two sides have never met before. The Titans had a taste of BBL, and they enjoyed it, beating the Scorchers by 39 runs. The Sixers were too strong for the Lions in their group match, winning by 5 wickets. The Titans, however, will have the advantage of crowd support as they are playing at their home ground.

 

The forecast is once again temperamental, with the chance of rain and possibly thunderstorms throughout the day.

 

Teams:

 

Sixers: Brad Haddin, Ian Moran, Shane Watson, Peter Nevill, Pat Cummins, Steve OíKeefe, Josh Hazlewood, Michael Lumb, Dom Thornely, Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith, Ben Rohrer, Nathan McCullum, Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinson

 

Titans: Martin van Jaarsveld, Mangaliso Mosehle, Cornelius de Villiers, Rowan Richards, Farhaan Behardien, Jacques Rudolph, AB de Villiers, Heino Kuhn, David Wiese, Roelof Van Der Merwe, Alfonso Thomas, Eden Links, Paul Harris, Henry Davids, Ethy Mbhalati

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2012 Pakistan Cricket Website)



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