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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Daredevils in semis after Scorchers trump Aces

Daredevils in semis after Scorchers trump Aces

October 23, 2012 21:02 IST

Delhi Daredevils made it to the Champions League Twenty20 semi-finals after Auckland Aces, another contender, was beaten by 16 runs in their last group league game by Perth Scorchers, in Centurion, on Tuesday.

Scorchers' victory meant Auckland Aces, with six points, were ousted, as Delhi (10 points) and Nashua Titans (8) occupy the top two slots.

- Scorecard

The last league match between Daredevils and Titans will decide who will meet the Lions and Sydney Sixers in the semis.

Had Auckland beaten Perth, the group would have opened up.

Chasing a modest target of 141, Auckland failed to capitalise on a 49-run second-wicket stand between opener Martin Guptill and Azhar Mahmood and finished on 124 for 8 in their stipulated 20 overs.

Perth clawed their way back into the match with four quick strikes in the middle overs.

Michael BeerLeft-arm spinners Michael Beer and Brad Hogg, and pacer Joe Mennie, shared bulk of the spoils.

Beer was the stand-out performer, the Victorian finishing with impressive figures of three for 13.

For Auckland, Guptill top-scored with a 32-ball 36 while Mahmood, who looked well-set en route his 24, was caught by Herschelle Gibbs at extra cover off Beer.

Auckland kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, as Anaru Kitchen (2), Colin de Grandhomme (4) and skipper Gareth Hopkins (9) failed to make any substantial contribution with the bat.

Auckland were off to a bad start. They lost opener Lou Vincent (2) early into the innings.

Guptill and Mahmood took the team past the 50-run mark with a defiant 49-run stand, but once they were separated, the New Zealand T20 champions lost the plot. From a comfortable position of 61 for 1 they were left struggling at 75 for 5 in 13 overs.

Their misery was further compounded by Mennie, who struck twice in the 18th over to put paid to any hopes of Auckland advancing to the next stage of the tournament.

Earlier, impressive bowing by pacer Michael Bates helped the Aces restrict Scorchers after their skipper, Marcus North, won the toss and decided to bat in their last league fixture.

Bates finished with impressive figures of 4 for 34 and picked the wickets of Luke Ronchi and Joe Mennie in the last over of the innings right after he scalped Tom Beaton in his previous over.

He also accounted for dangerman Herschelle Gibbs (6) in his first spell.

Beaton (22) and Paul Collingwood (38) resurrected the Scorchers' innings after they were left reeling at 67 for 3 in 12 overs.

They put up a much needed 36-ball 51-run partnership for the fourth wicket to help the Australian side reach a respectable score.

After the early loss of Gibbs, North (37) and Simon Katich (21) combined well to put on 55-run partnership for the second wicket but the duo perished in quick succession.

North (37) was run-out after a direct hit by Kyle Mills while Katich (21) fell victim to spinner Ronnie Hira, who got the better of the southpaw's stumps.

North and Katich hit a flurry of boundaries with the skipper contributing with four hits to the fence and a single six.

When the momentum looked like shifting Auckland's way, Beaton and Collingwood revived the Scorchers' sagging fortunes with a defiant fifty-plus stand.

Collingwood hit five fours in his 27-ball stay at the crease before being run-out by Hira on the second ball of the last over.

Photograph: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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