Delhi Daredevils 123-7 (Sehwag 52) beat
Perth Scorchers 121-5 (Morkel 3-19) by 3 wickets
CLT20, Group A Match, Cape Town
Perth Scorchers fought hard but couldn’t quite defend their below-par total of 121 for five against Delhi Daredevils on a sluggish Cape Town pitch. Daredevils won with three balls and three wickets to spare as Ajit Agarkar’s cameo of 11 off seven balls saw them home and eliminated Perth from the competition.
The match had swung this way and that in the final few overs of the Delhi run chase. At 88 for four in the 15th over and needing only 34 more runs to win, Nathan Rimmington parried a catch from the bat of Virender Sehwag over the boundary for six and that looked to be the last chance that Perth would have.
However, in the very next over, Rimmington made amends with the ball. First he induced Irfan Pathan into chipping a catch to Simon Katich at mid-wicket and three balls later he got the big wicket of Sehwag, caught on the cover boundary for 52.
New batsman Naman Ojha hit a boundary off the next over, but Nathan Coulter-Nile dismissed him with the fourth ball of the 18th and suddenly Delhi needed 17 from the final two overs, with two new batsmen, Ajit Agarkar and Pawan Negi, at the crease. Agarkar, though, found the boundary twice in the space of five balls and Negi hit the winning four from the third ball of the final over, bowled by the luckless Rimmington.
Sehwag had been the star of the show in the Delhi run chase. Reigning in his attacking instincts in the interests of his team, he shepherded his side closer and closer to their target, in spite of the regular trickle of wickets at the other end. Besides Sehwag, none of Daredevils’ big name top five reached double figures as Michael Beer removed Kevin Pietersen (9) and Ross Taylor, and Joe Mennie Mahela Jayawardene (4) and Unmukt Chand (3). Beer ended with figures of two for 18, while Mennie had two for 21.
Perth had earlier been asked to bat by Delhi captain Mahela Jayawardene and struggled throughout. They did progress to 84 for one in the 13th over thanks to a steady partnership of 73 from 67 balls between Shaun Marsh and Simon Katich, but Delhi’s bowlers always held the upper-hand.
Agarkar made the breakthrough. He had Marsh (39 off 41 balls) caught at mid-wicket and Katich (34 off 33) caught at short cover on his way to figures of two for 14, while Morne Morkel followed up his early wicket of Herschelle Gibbs by having Mitchell Marsh (20 off 18 balls) and Luke Ronchi (2) caught. Perth managed just 34 from their final six overs and limped to 121 for five - a total that was reckoned to be about 25 runs below par.
Delhi’s victory moves them top of Group A ahead of Titans, who play Kolkata Knight Riders this evening, while Perth join Kolkata as two of the three teams from Group A who can no longer make the semi-finals.
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