Johannesburg: Invincible so far in the competition, Sydney Sixers are firm favourites for the title but South Africa’s enterprising Highveld Lions would look to upset the Australian powerhouse’s applecart when the two sides clash in the Champions League Twenty20 final here tomorrow.
Sydney won each of their five matches — including four group stage games — to be considered by far the best team to take the field in the competition. Despite losing the services of their match-winner, prolific all-rounder Shane Watson, Sydney were strong enough for the Mumbai Indians in their final Group fixture and their semifinal clash against the Titans even though it was a close shave last night.
The unavailability of Watson is certainly a big blow for Sydney Sixers, given that a winner’s cheque of $2,500,000 rides on this match. Watson, incidentally, was a key figure when Sydney beat the Lions in a low-scorer during the group stage earlier in the tournament.
However, the Australian outfit will not be too concerned, given they have several players who have been in good touch. Skipper Brad Haddin has been consistently among the runs.
Michael Lumb too has been in outstanding form, having scored in every outing.
In Moises Henriques and Steve Smith, the Sixers have two players in their middle order who are contributing regularly. But a few chinks in the armour were left exposed by the last-ball last night’s win over Titans during which Smith and Haddin failed to add anything significant.
Sydney’s bowling has been impressive with Mitchell Starc being the leading wicket-taker. In Pat Cummins, the Sixers have another strike bowler, while the likes of Moises Henriques and Josh Hazlewood have been very effective in the middle overs.