By BV Swagath
A superb bowling and fielding performance from Sydney Sixers saw Mumbai Indians crash out by 12 runs in the final league match of Group B played at Durban. Sydney Sixers have finished the league stage by winning all their four matches and are surely the favourites to win the tournament.
It was a lukewarm batting performance from the Sixers though as its batsmen went hard at the ball and found themselves in early trouble at 40 for 3 in the 6th over. There was more trouble in store for the Sixers as they kept on losing wickets but a crucial knock of 41 (from 41 balls) by Steven Smith got them to a slightly respectable total of 136 for 7.
For the Mumbai Indians, Munaf Patel playing in his first game excelled with figures of 4-1-17-2. Skipper Harbhajan Singh quickly bowled out his 4 overs for just 22 runs. Chasing a moderate target of 137, Mumbai Indians got a cautious yet solid start of 52 for 1 in 8.2 overs before Dwayne Smith (26 from 28 balls) whacked one straight into long on. Sachin Tendulkar scratched around to score 22 from 23 balls before losing his off stump to an inducker from Moises Henriques.
The Sydney Sixers kept the heat on Mumbai Indians by taking three key wickets in succession and soon had full control of the match. Mumbai Indians finished at 124 for 8 with the margin of defeat coming down considerably because of a cameo from Harbhajan Singh (22* from 9 balls).
All the four fast bowlers did a fabulous job for the Sixers and in particular Pat Cummins stood out with figures of 4-0-16-2.
Toss and Teams: Sydney Sixers, who are already into the Semi Finals of the CLT20 2012, have won the toss and elected to bat first against Mumbai Indians at Durban. The Sixers have made two changes with Peter Nevill and Nathan McCullum replacing Shane Watson and Dominic Thornely. Mumbai Indians have also made two changes with Thisara Perera and Munaf Patel replacing Mitchell Johnson and Dhawal Kulkarni.
Sydney Sixers: Michael Lumb, Peter Nevill, Nic Maddinson, Brad Haddin (Captain and Wicket Keeper), Moises Henriques, Steven Smith, Steve O'Keefe, Nathan McCullum, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood
Mumbai Indians: Dwayne Smith, Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik (Wicket Keeper), Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Thisara Perera, Harbhajan Singh (Captain), Lasith Malinga, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel