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The Perth Scorchers ended their CLT20 campaign on a high with a 16 run win against the Auckland Aces, owing to an inspired performance by their bowlers. The Aces did well to restrict Perth to just 140 with Michael Bates claiming 4 wickets. However, the Scorchers' bowlers outplayed the Aces' batsmen to restrict them to an even lower total, winning the game comfortably in the end.
The Scorchers won the toss and elected to bat. They rested Shaun and Mitchell Marsh, and Nathan Rimmington to let Paul Collingwood, Tom Beaton and Ryan Duffield have a go in this game. Herschelle Gibbs' disastrous tournament continued with yet another cheap dismissal, falling for 6. Skipper Marcus North led Perth's assault, assisted by Simon Katich, but was run out for 37 whilst attempting a cheeky single.
A couple of overs later, Katich was bowled round his legs for 21, leaving Perth in trouble at 67-3. Kyle Mills was very economical, his first three overs conceding just 6 runs. At this point, Perth were going ridiculously slowly, scoring at just 6 runs per over. Former England skipper Paul Collingwood scored a quick fire 38 of 27 balls and accelerated the scoring rate but was run out in a bizarre manner. He was given useful support by Beaton (22 of 19 balls). The last over saw three wickets fall as the Scorchers ended at 140-7.
The Aces began cautiously at under 6 an over. Lou Vincent was sent back early by Duffield for just 2. Once Martin Guptill settled down, he began playing his strokes, complemented by Azhar Mahmood at the other end. They were cruising at 60-1 but the batsmen decided to go on a suicidal mission after that. Overs 10 - 13 saw four quick dismissals; Guptill - caught behind off Michael Beer, Anaru Kitchen â€“ caught in the deep off Brad Hogg, Mahmood â€“ caught at extra cover by Gibbs, and Colin de Grandhomme â€“ run out attempting an unnecessary run.
The Aces never really got out of the hole they found themselves in, except for a hopeful 16th over. Skipper Gareth Hopkins succumbed to pressure and was yorked by Beer for 9. Colin Munro followed him to the pavilion having made 23. Mills and Bates continued to play out the remaining overs knowing that they were never really close enough to make a case for victory.
Michael Beer was adjudicated Man of the Match for taking three important wickets and conceding just 14 runs in his 4 overs. This loss ended the Aces' semi-final hopes.
That meant that the Delhi Daredevils and the Titans qualify from Group A, with their match later in the day set to determine who would top the group.
Perth Scorchers 140-7 (20 Overs, 7.00 rpo)
P Collingwood 38 (27), M Bates 4-34
Auckland 124-8 (20 Overs, 6.20 rpo)
M Guptill 36 (32), M Beer 3-13
Perth Scorchers win by 16 runs
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