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It was a clash of two opposing cultures - the domestic champions from Australia, where the cricket system is probably the best regulated amongst all the countries versus the side from the Caribbean, where chaos and cricket comfortably co-exist.

It was a clash of two opposing captains - both of whom had displayed outstanding leadership right through the tournament to harness the wealth of talent at their disposal and turn it into a formidable team.

It was a clash between two goals - a victory for New South Wales would have reinforced the fact that Australian cricket was still ascendant notwithstanding recent blips, and that Australia would continue to be amongst the most formidable sides in international cricket. A victory for Trinidad and Tobago had the potential to re-ignite the spark in West Indies cricket and let the team that was everybody's favourite storm back to strength on the international stage.

A victory for New South Wales would have meant that the team that had the bigger names and appeared stronger on paper won - delighting the realists. A win for Trinidad and Tobago would leave the romantics in raptures.

Darren Ganga won the toss and inserted NSW in, and sprung the first surprise of the match by bowling his brother Sherwin in the first over. Sherwin responded well by not giving Warner and Hughes the pace to hit the leather off the ball as they had been doing in the tournament so far. Warner wasn't deterred from playing his strokes, but Hughes lost his head and his stumps, backing away but connecting with air, to give first blood to Trinidad and Tobago. After that, the innings didn't really get going with Ravi Rampaul (3/20) and Dwayne Bravo (2/27) polishing the top order before some poor shot selections did the middle order in. Katich perished chipping the ball to mid-off, and three balls later Moises Henriques joined his captain in the hut, holing out in the deep off Kieron Pollard to leave his side at 49/4. That soon turned into 83/6 and it looked very much like New South Wales famed batting line-up would fold without a fight for a sub-par total. But that is when Brett Lee walked in, and turned the game on its head.

Lee took his time to settle in, but then began blasting the ball to all parts of the ground to lead his team out of the woods and into safety. He shared a partnership of 49 runs off 6.1 overs with Steven Smith (33 off 26), and continued to hit out till the end. He fell off the last ball of the innings for a crucial innings of 48 off just 31 balls, taking New South Wales to 159/9 in the process. With the bowling attack they had, and given the pressure of a chase in the final, they would have fancied their chances. Lee had made the difference between a below-par 130-odd score and a very defendable 8-run-an-over one.

The Caribbean side needed to get off to a good start to make a good fist of the chase, but Lee continued from where he had left off, bowling with fire to pick up two wickets in his first two overs to derail the chase.

Adrian Barath provided a thrill-a-minute in a six ball stay, smacking fourteen runs before falling to Steven Smith - with whose leg spin Katich had opened the attack alongwith Lee. An action packed first three overs saw Trinidad at 29/3. However, though they continued to keep a good run-rate, Trinidad kept losing wickets, with Bravo falling in the sixth over, and Ganga departing in the 10th.

However, with Kieron Pollard still at the crease, Trinidad and Tobago were hoping for another miracle innings and a fairytale finish to their title run. However, the steep asking rate got to the batsmen, who had not had as much big-match experience as the seasoned internationals from New South Wales, and wickets continued to tumble. Pollard though continued to biff the ball, and even sent it into orbit a couple of times, but miracles don't happen twice. He fell at the stroke of the 15th over for 26 off 15 balls, to be the eighth man out, and the Trinidad innings ended 5 balls later, as they were all out for 118 to lose by 41 runs. They had lost their last four wickets for 11 runs in 14 balls, as the match swung from their grasp.

New South Wales were deserving winners of the inaugural Champions League, with their outstanding bowling attack doing the job for them everytime it needed to. Brett Lee returned with figures of 2/10 in his 2 overs to cap a fine all-round performance. Fittingly it was Lee who took a swirling high catch to get rid of Pollard to put the seal on his perfect day. He was well supported by Stuart Clark (3/21), Hauritz (2/23) and Smith (2/32) as all the bowlers contributed to New South Wales' cause.

Trinidad and Tobago had an almost dream-like run to the finals, but the Cinderalla story was not to run its full course as it ran into a wall of Australian hard-nosed professionalism. Nevertheless, they had shown that given the right circumstances and administration, cricket in the Caribbean is ready to flourish again. For that alone, this tournament could be considered a resounding success

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Simon Katich receives the Trophy and the Blues break into wild celebrations.
Simon Katich: It is a very proud moment. Firstly, congratulations to Trinidad for a magnificent final. They have been superb competitors. It was a great effort by Brett Lee. It is good to prove that we have it in us to perform at the world stage. It has been a great experience for all of us.
Simon Katich collects the winners cheque of USD 2,500,000
New South Wales Blues team members collect the medallions now
Darren Ganga: It was a good run for us but we didn't really come good in the finals. NSW played well and we perhaps cracked under pressure. Brett Lee made a lot of difference but then 160 was also not very tough but we lost wickets regularly. I am sure our experiences here will be inspiring for people back home.
Darren Ganga collects the cheque of USD 1,300,000
That is followed by the runners up, Trinidad and Tobago collecting their medallions.
Then come the big prizes. Losing semi finalists Victoria Bushrangers and Cape Cobras get the heavy cash prize of USD 500,000
Now it is time for the match officials to collect their medallions.
Simon Katich is the captain of the All Star Team
Brett Lee: I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to Trinidad and Tobago for providing some excellent competition through the series. "Shukriya" to the crowd for their love and support. I just tried to stick around for a while when I came out to bat and then look for boundaries. We were looking at at least 140 to defend and we got more than that.
Brett Lee is the Man of the Series as well for performing on the big day.

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