CLT20 Desk in Mumbai
Match Report: M15 - Perth Scorchers vs Delhi Daredevils
Daredevils seal thriller against Scorchers
In pursuit of 122, the Delhi Daredevils lost Mahela Jayawardene, Unmukt Chand, Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor to single-digit scores to leave Virender Sehwag to steer the team through. The 34-year-old batted sensibly, held one end firm and went about in a manner one doesn’t normally associate with him. Until he was out in the middle, the Delhi Daredevils were definitely favourites. But once he holed out to the man patrolling the sweeper cover boundary in the 16th over, it put the Western Australian side in front. On a difficult track, where the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat, Sehwag batted for 44 deliveries and scored 52 (the only half-century of the match) in an innings in which he ran 21 singles, three twos and hit only four boundaries and a six.
His 34-run partnership with Irfan Pathan for the fifth wicket was the highest in the Daredevils’ innings. DD needed nine runs of the last over, and Ajit Agarkar and Pawan Negi hit boundaries off the first and third deliveries to seal the deal for their team. The Delhi Daredevils finished with 123 for 7 in 19.3 overs.
The Perth Scorchers bowlers were impressive. The left-arm spinner Michael Beer was the best of the lot (picking up the wickets of the dangerous Pietersen and Taylor), while Nathan Rimmington and Joe Mennie also picked up two wickets each. Nathan Coulter-Nile chipped in with the wicket of Naman Ojha, while Brad Hogg mixed his variations well and troubled the Daredevils batsmen consistently in his four over spell.
Earlier in the afternoon, though Herschelle Gibbs’ six off Irfan Pathan was the first scoring stroke of the innings, the Scorchers batsmen generally struggled to come to terms with the sluggish nature of the pitch. Gibbs tried to create some momentum, but he only managed to drag the ball back onto his stumps.
Shaun Marsh and Simon Katich continued to accumulate runs over the next few overs, but clearly even they felt the pressure of not scoring runs quickly enough. Marsh in particular was jittery and attempted to break the shackles on several occasions without too much luck. The pair batted together for 67 deliveries, but could only accumulate 73 runs in that period. The platform had been set and just when it was time to build on it, the Perth Scorchers would lose both batsmen; Marsh (39 off 41 balls) was the first to go when he miscued a pull and holed out to the man at midwicket. Katich (34 off 33 balls) followed soon after when he drove Agarkar through cover, but Mahela Jayawardene was alert to the opportunity and completed a sharp catch.
Mitchell Marsh’s 18-ball 20 – at a strike-rate of 111.11 – was the quickest knock of the innings. The Perth Scorchers only managed to score 22 runs in the last four overs and finished at 121 for 5.
Ajit Agarkar, who bowled a disciplined line and length and helped in building pressure in the middle overs, was the pick of the Delhi Daredevils bowlers. Morne Morkel though would be the most successful one as he ended up with figures of three for 19 from his four overs.
Brief Scores: Perth Scorchers 121-5 in 20 overs (Shaun Marsh 39, Simon Katich 34, Morne Morkel 3-19) lost to Delhi Daredevils 123-7 in 19.3 overs (Virender Sehwag 52, Michael Beer 2-18) by 3 wickets.
Man of the Match: Ajit Agarkar for his economical spell of 4-0-14-2.