New Zealand allrounder Nathan McCullum is set to receive a handsome pay cheque after helping to guide the Sydney Sixers to victory in the lucrative Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament.
The Australian side wiped the Highveld Lions of South Africa by 10 wickets at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg this morning (NZT), collecting $US2.5 million ($NZ3.1 million) of the $US6 million prizepool in the 10-team tournament.
McCullum certainly earned his share as one of Sydney's imports; the offspinner opened the bowling and took 3-24 from four overs as the Lions were dismissed for 121 from 20 overs.
The Sixers then easily chased down that total with 45 balls remaining. Michael Lumb topscored for Sydney with 82 not out (off 42 balls) to become the leading runscorer for the tournament. He was ably backed up by Brad Haddin in the runchase with the wicketkeeper hitting 37 off 33.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl at the Wanderers ground Haddin unexpectedly opted to open with spin from both ends. And the gamble paid dividends immediately as the Lions slumped to 32-5 off the first seven overs. They never recovered despite a spirited knock from Jean Symes (51 off 46).
After a maiden first over that included the wickets of Quinton de Kock and Neil McKenzie, Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the Sixers bowlers with 3-22 off his four overs, though he was well supported by McCullum.
Lumb and Haddin started the chase slowly registering just eight off the first three overs and 33 off the opening six. But the Lions total never looked like being enough and the Sixers raced away to claim the winner's cheque for their unbeaten efforts.
While the Lions didn't rise to the occasion, Haddin said his players knew they would.
''That was the sort of performance we have been building to for the past two weeks,'' he said.
- AAP, Stuff
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