Champions League T20 flashback: New South Wales win the first edition of CLT20

Blog by: Asthana

Airtel Champions League Twenty20 Final

The inaugural edition of Champions League T20 saw New South Wales take on Trinidad & Tobago in the final on October 23, 2009. New South Wales (NSW) had seen off Victoria’s challenge in their semi-final, while Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) had defeated Cape Cobras from South Africa in the other semi-final. The incentive to win the match was that the winner would be crowed as the first ever CLT20 champions.

The two teams had met earlier in the league stage with the team from Caribbean prevailing by 4 wickets. But the tables turned in the final, as Brett Lee starred with a fine all-round display to clinch the trophy and prize money of $2.5 million for his team.

The final result of 41-run margin win for NSW didn’t reflect the closeness of the encounter, and the match was won and lost by the teams in the last 5 overs of NSW’s batting and first 5 overs of T&T’s batting. Reduced to just 83 for the loss of 6 wickets, the NSW batting was stuttering when Brett Lee came out to join Steven Smith at the crease. Lee started off carefully, scoring just 7 runs off 13 balls, before beginning the assault in the 16th over against the bowling of Lendl Simmons. Navin Stewart and Sherwin Ganga were taken to the cleaners too, Lee notched up a quick-fire 48 off just 31 balls with 5 sixes. Smith gave good support to Lee by rotating the strike and scoring an occasional boundary. NSW finished with a fighting total of 159-9 off their 20 overs, which was an excellent comeback considering the position they found themselves in the 12th over.

With a rampaging Kieron Pollard in their side, no total seemed too high to chase for the T&T in the tournament, and the team would have backed themselves to get the target of 160. However Lee returned to haunt them again, this time with the ball dismissing William Perkins with a fast and straight ball and then removed Lendl Simmons by taking a sharp return catch off a slower delivery. Stuart Clark, Steve Smith and Doug Bollinger dismantled the T&T batting and it was left to Pollard to try his magic again. He pulled Bollinger for a six over midwicket and then hit Nathan Hauritz for 2 sixes.

But Pollard perished soon after while trying to clear the boundary again off the bowling of Hauritz, but was caught by none other than Lee. With the dismissal of Pollard, the T&T hopes vanished, and they had to settle for the runners-up position.

Even though they ended up losing the game, the T&T began the match strongly, as the spin-seam opening combination of Sherwin Ganga and Ravi Rampaul kept things quiet with some tight bowling. Openers David Warner and Phillip Hughes struggled to get things going, and Hughes didn’t last long as he got out while attempting a slog-pull off Rampaul. Dwayne Bravo dismissed Warner and the NSW middle-order crumbled after that.

It was ultimately left to some sensible batting from Lee and Smith to save the day for NSW and Lee returned with the ball to end the hopes of a T&T win. Lee won the Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-series awards for his performances as he finished the tournament with 8 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 3.76, which was crucial to NSW’s winning run.

CLT20 2009 Final brief scores:

New South Wales 159-9 in 20 overs (Lee 48, Smith 33, Rampaul 3-20, Bravo 2-27)

Trinidad & Tobago 188 all out in 15.5 overs (Pollard 26, D Ganga 19, Clark 3-27, Lee 2-10)

Result: New South Wales won by 41 runs

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