Cricket: McCullum helps Sixers to Champions League glory

The Sydney Sixers have smashed the Highveld Lions by 10 wickets to win the final of the Champions League T20 in Johannesburg.

Led by some inspired captaincy from Brad Haddin and a brilliant effort with the ball, the Sixers totally dominated the game to limit the Lions to 121 and easily chase 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 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 when Gulam Bodi (6 off 3) was dismissed in the first over by offspinner Nathan McCullum to have the South Africans 1-7 early.

From there they slumped to 5-32 off the first seven overs and 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. He was well supported by McCullum with 3-24 off 4.

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 win and a $US2.5 million ($A2.43 million) winner's cheque for their unbeaten efforts in the showpiece tournament.

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

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