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Saturday, Sep 26th

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Auckland Aces sent packing by Perth Scorchers, who seal 16 run win

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 – caught in the deep off Brad Hogg, Mahmood – caught at extra cover by Gibbs, and Colin de Grandhomme – 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.

Mini Scorecard

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

Mumbai lose again as Perfect Sydney pick up 4th straight win

tendulkar_iplThe Sydney Sixers, without their one true superstar Shane Watson, won the toss and elected to make first use of a two paced wicket at Kingsmead, Durban. A patchy batting effort which was built around a workmanlike 41 from Steve Smith and included some run rate boosting cameos up and down the order allowed the Sixers to post an underpar 136-7 in their 20 overs. Mumbai, while perpetually behind the asking rate, had the game very much within their grasp at 88-3 heading into the last 5 overs, but lost 5 wickets for 15 runs in the next 4 overs to knock themselves out of the contest. It was a very professional performance from the Sixers, who showed that despite the absence of Watto, they are very much a force to be reckoned with heading into the semi-finals. 

The Sixers got off to a good start with Michael Lumb racing away to 28 from just 22 balls before falling to Lasith Malinga, but not before doing some damage to the Mumbai spearhead's bowling figures. At the other end, Peter Nevill had been largely deprived of the strike, but he and skipper Brad Haddin fell for 5 and 0 respectively in one Munaf Patel over. The former Indian pace bowler celebrated his return to the Mumbai side with excellent figures of 2-17.


Chennai Super Kings record easy 4 wicket win against Yorkshire to end CLT20 campaign on a high

chennai_ipl2The match between Yorkshire Carnegie and the Chennai Super Kings may have been officially classified as a dead rubber, but for the professional cricketers taking the field there was plenty of pride at stake. The Super Kings won the toss and put Yorkshire in to bat under overcast conditions at Kingsmead, Durban, and the English side did well to reach a competitive 140-6 in their 20 overs on the back of yet another fantastic half-century from Gary Ballance. The left-hander smashed 5 sixes on his way to 58 as Yorkshire made the most of Chennai's decision to field 4 specialist bowlers. Chennai struggled briefly in their chase, but their middle order came to the party with Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni hitting contrasting 31s while S Badrinath made a match winning 47 to guide Chennai to victory.

MS Dhoni had decided to give himself a bit of a breather and the Super Kings were captained by Suresh Raina, while Wriddhiman Saha had taken over wicketkeeping duties, relegating the Indian captain to fine leg for long periods of the game. The absence of his pads also meant that Dhoni probably fancied having a bit of a bowl as well, and that did prove to be the case.


Kolkata Knight Riders regain pride with thumping win over the Titans

The Kolkata Knight Riders ended their Champions League T20 sojourn on a high, thumping the Titans by 99 runs at Newlands, Cape Town. Being put into pat on a sluggish pitch, the Knight Riders posted an exceptional 188-5 in their 20 overs with Debabrata Das doing some serious damage towards the end of the innings, smacking an unbeaten 43 from just 19 deliveries after the top three batsmen had given KKR a terrific platform. The Titans meanwhile had a poor outing, following up their dismal bowling performance with an even worse batting display as they collapsed for 89 inside 17 overs with just three batsmen getting into double figures.

The result means that KKR will leave South Africa a little happier on their flight home later today, while the Titans still have some work to do before they are guaranteed a semi-final spot. KKR Skipper Gautam Gambhir's previous team, the Delhi Daredevils will be doubly thrilled with the result as it means they are all but through to the semi-finals. The Auckland Aces will need to thrash the Perth Scorchers and the Titans themselves will need to also quite literally rout Delhi for the Daredevils to be denied a knock-out berth.


Delhi Daredevils squeeze narrow 3 wicket win against Perth to keep CLT20 semi-final hopes alive

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Needing a win to keep their semi-final hopes alive, the Perth Scorchers struggled in the early contest between bat and ball, making a paltry 121-5 in 20 overs having been put into bat on a challenging wicket. Shaun Marsh and Simon Katich contributed patchy 30s to lead the Scorchers' cause, while Morne Morkel and Ajit Agarkar shared the 5 wickets to fall between them, with exemplary economy rates to boot. Delhi struggled in their chase, losing wickets at regular intervals to keep the game very much alive as a contest. Virender Sehwag played a cautious hand, contributing 52 to the Delhi cause, but fell at a crucial stage with Delhi still 26 shy of victory. Ajit Agarkar though proved to be the hero with the bat too, striking an unbeaten 11 from 7 balls to take Delhi over the line in the final over with 3 wickets to spare.

Mahela Jayawardene had no hesitation in putting the Scorchers in on another overcast day in Newlands, and the Delhi pace attack made the most of the conditions with Morne Morkel removing Herschelle Gibbs for 6 in just the second over.


Chennai edge out Mumbai in thrilling dead rubber

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lasith_malingaIt was a day loaded with a cocktail of anticlimax, thrills and frills! What was expected to be a high profile clash starring the biggest names in T20 history was turned into a dead rubber by the Lions, who had advanced to the semis, knocking out Yorkshire, Chennai and Mumbai. However, nothing about the intense battle suggested that it was a dead rubber. In a cliffhanger that kept that audience on the edge of their seats, The Super Kings prevailed to capture their first victory of this year's CLT20. Riding high on Faf du Plessis' fifty and charming cameos from Murali Vijay(39) and MS Dhoni(35), Chennai posted a formidable 173-8. They would have touched 200 if it had not been for Lasith Malinga's 5 wicket haul that sparked off a mini middle order collapse.

In pursuit of 174, Mumbai were rocked early before Dinesh Karthik(74) forged two potent partnerships with Rohit Sharma(32) and Kieron Pollard(31). Karthik's was a fearless, enterprising knock adorned with 6 sixes and 4 fours. But his heroics proved to be inadequate with the ice-cool Ravindra Jadeja defending 19 from the last over. Ben Hilfenhaus(2-14) was adjudicated the Man of the Match for his pin-point accuracy and surgical precision.


Delhi Daredevils and Auckland Aces share the spoils after another washout in Durban

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rain1Group A of the Champions League T20 continued to be a real mystery halfway through the tournament as yet another match was rained out in Durban today. The Delhi Daredevils and Auckland Aces, locked at 4 points apiece heading into the contest left it with 6 points each, tied for 2nd place with the IPL team having played a game less and ahead on net run rate.

The Daredevils could well secure a spot in the semi-finals with one more win, while the Aces must win their last game of the Group stage to give themselves any chance of progressing.


Sydney Sixers tame Lions to advance to Champions League semi-finals

The clash of the titans of Group B was rather one sided as the Sydney Sixers cruised to a comfortable win beating the Highveld Lions by 5 wickets despite Gulam Bodi's valiant 61 run effort. Shane Watson, who was playing his last game of the tournament, performed yet again with both bat and ball, following up his effort of 2-25 with an excellent 47 from just 38 balls.

Being put in to bat, the Lions began in spectacular fashion, scoring 25 off the first two overs. Josh Hazlewood was called on immediately and he didn't fail to deliver, producing a wicket maiden. With skipper Alviro Petersen out to an unnecessary shot, the scoring rate reduced a bit. The Sixers struck again in the eighth over to see the back of Quinton de Kock for just 4. The Lions lost two more wickets in quick succession, all four dismissals thus far caught behind. As a result the scoring rate dropped quite a bit to reach 6.5 runs per over. Gulam Bodi seemed unaffected at the other end, playing his shots as he moved quickly to 50 off 32 balls with 4 sixes and as many fours. However, the 18th over saw him depart, leg before to Mitchell Starc. The lower order just collapsed after that with three batsmen getting out for ducks. Chris Morris managed to hit a few boundaries to see the Lions end at 137-9.


Kolkata - Perth share the spoils as rain ruins encounter

The Kolkata Knight Riders made their way to Durban knowing that anything other than a win today would mean that their next game of the Champions League T20 competition would certainly be their last. Squaring off against the Perth Scorchers, who were also win-less in the multi-nation event, the Knight Riders won the toss and opted to chase, basing their decision on the weather forecast for rain later in the evening. The Scorchers made a patchy start and made their way to a competitive 91-2 in 14 overs before the forecasted rain made its scheduled appearance. Sadly for the thousands in attendance and the millions glued to their TV sets around the world the rain refused to subside, washing away the possibility of any result from this contest. As such the teams were forced to split the 4 points on offer between them, ending KKR's chance of progressing in the competition.

The Knight Riders made the two predictable changes to their side, recalling Brett Lee for Shakib Al Hasan, and dropping Pradeep Sangwan for Iqbal Abdulla to retain their bowling balance. However, they also opted to leave out the much under-bowled Rajat Bhatia for a more recognized T20 stroke player in Debabrata Das to compensate for Shakib's exit. The Scorchers meanwhile made just the one change with Nathan Coulter-Nile coming in for Ben Edmondson, meaning there was still no place in the team for former England T20 winning captain Paul Collingwood in this side.


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