Old boys crush Yorkshire
Mitchell Starc and Michael Lumb haunted former club Yorkshire by helping Sydney Sixers to a comprehensive eight-wicket Champions League T20 triumph.
Starc represented the White Rose in the Friends Life t20 this summer, yet was lining up against familiar faces for his Big Bash side today.
The left-arm seamer certainly made an impact, claiming 3-22 as Yorkshire - having won the toss - stuttered to a measly 96 for nine.
Despite the early loss of star batsman Shane Watson, that total provided little challenge as Brad Haddin and Lumb - who hit 41 and an unbeaten 43 respectively - saw Sydney home with 11.1 overs to spare.
Phil Jaques got Yorkshire off to a positive start, but, having laboured to an 18-ball eight, his partner Andrew Gale fell attempting to up the tempo; he was bowled by Josh Hazlewood moving too far outside off stump.
Jaques then departed for 21, top-edging a pull off Starc straight to deep square-leg, after which Joe Root looked to rebuild.
Despite noticeably struggling for timing, Root - a member of England’s Test party that will travel to India this month - scored at better than a run a ball, threatening to click into gear when hooking Watson for six.
Yet the youngster was bowled by a Moises Henriques delivery that kept low in the next over, and Adam Lyth then sliced Watson to point for a painstaking 18.
That prompted a collapse which summed up Yorkshire’s effort; Adil Rashid and Gary Ballance edged Pat Cummins behind either side of Dan Hodgson falling before Starc claimed two scalps in the final over, having Azeem Rafiq caught at third man and bowling Steven Patterson.
The reply went much as expected; from the moment Watson hit Root for six over deep midwicket in a first over that yielded 11, it was clear which way the game was headed.
Ryan Sidebottom briefly raised hopes of a revival by having Watson caught on the square-leg boundary in the next, but that merely heralded the arrival of Haddin.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, playing with typical panache through the off side, drove his second ball down the ground for four and did not look back.
Lumb, meanwhile, also operated with great freedom, putting away anything straight in an enterprising 24-delivery knock.
Haddin would eventually be dismissed by Rafiq with Sydney needing less than 10, but Dominic Thornley joined Lumb, who completed victory with back-to-back fours off Rafiq, the first slog-swept and the second chipped over mid-on.
Later in Group B at the same venue, Lions moved a step closer to the semi-finals with a six-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings.
After Gulam Bodi struck 64 in the South African side’s pursuit of 159, Jean Symes held his nerve in the final overs.
The Lions needed nine from Albie Morkel’s last over, yet Symes made short work of that equation as he blasted the second and third deliveries to the ropes.
Symes finished unbeaten on 39 from 23 balls after opener Bodi, who had seen his side slip into early trouble at eight for two, set up the chase by striking five fours and four sixes in a 46-ball stay.
Chennai’s hopes of qualification appear faint as they remain winless after their opening two games in Group B.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni top-scored for the Indian team with 34 from 26 deliveries, but six of his side’s batsman reached 20 without going on as the Super Kings compiled 158 for six.