Hyderabad - Stuart Clark claimed three late wickets to ensure New South Wales beat
Trinidad & Tobago by 41 runs in the Champions League final on Friday.
Lee came to the crease with NSW floundering on 83 for six and his
brilliant 48 off 31 balls ensured that the powerful Australian bowling
attack had a total to defend as they rallied to 159 for nine.
David Warner (19), Simon Katich (16) and Ben Rohrer (16) were
all dismissed in soft fashion when set and New South Wales' winning
total was all about Lee's clean hitting, which brought him five sixes,
and the sensible support given to him by Steven Smith (33) and Nathan
Hauritz (10) as 65 runs were added in the last eight overs.
Lee then led the way with the ball by removing William Perkins
(0) and Lendl Simmons (4) in his first two overs. Stuart Clark, who
claimed three for 21 to wrap up the tail, and Doug Bollinger (one for
27) were also valuable participants in a NSW pace bowling blitz, while
spinners Nathan Hauritz and Steven Smith each claimed two wickets.
Trinidad & Tobago had slumped to 68 for five at the halfway
mark but Kieron Pollard, who had almost single-handedly beaten NSW in
the round-robin stage, brought the West Indians back into the game as
he blazed 26 off 15 balls.
The beefy 22-year-old had just launched Hauritz for two massive
sixes in the 15th over, but the gutsy off-spinner kept tossing the ball
up and Pollard heaved again at the last ball of the over, failed to
connect as well as he would have liked and Lee took a pressure catch at
long-on, in front of an animated crowd of 32 000 that were mostly
backing the Caribbean underdogs.
Ravi Rampaul had earlier led a disciplined Trinidad & Tobago attack with three for 20 in four outstanding overs.
The West Indians had gone into conference before the game on how
to deal with the tournament's leading opening pair of David Warner and
Phillip Hughes and their plans worked as the two left-handers were both
dismissed in the first five overs.
Rampaul started the ball rolling when he bowled Hughes for
three, while Warner clubbed four fours with bear-like ferocity before
Dave Mohammed moved sharply to catch a thick outside edge at backward
point off Dwayne Bravo.
New South Wales were under severe pressure when Rampaul bowled
Daniel Smith for three, but the 20-year-old Steven Smith put away any
temptation to play the sort of rash stroke that had accounted for some
of those higher up the order, scoring 33 off 26 balls. His composure
allowed Lee to give a top-class display of hitting at the other end.
He quickly followed that up with a superb new-ball spell that
gave New South Wales a grip on the game that they never relinquished.
New South Wales - Philip Hughes, David Warner, Simon Katich (capt), Moises Henriquies, Daniel Smith (wk), Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Stuart Clark, Doug Bollinger.
Trinidad and Tobago - Adrian Barath, William Perkins, Lendl Simmons, Daren Ganga (capt), Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Sherwin Ganga, Navin Stewart, Dave Mohammed, Ravi Rampaul.