Daredevils enter semis,courtesy Scorchers

A victory for Auckland against Perth could have opened up the group,but the Australian side’s bowlers stuck to their task.

Published: October 24, 2012 12:43:44 am

Delhi Daredevils progressed to the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20 with an unbeaten record after their final group match against Titans was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to incessant rain.

The start of the match at SuperSport Park was delayed due to drizzle and the umpires waited for nearly one and half hours before they decided to call off the match at 7pm local time.

Daredevils and Titans have already booked semifinal berths even before the start of the match after Perth Scorchers defeated Auckland Aces by 16 runs in another Group A match at the same venue earlier in the day.

A victory for Auckland against Perth could have opened up the group,but the Australian side’s bowlers stuck to their task. Chasing a modest target of 141,Auckland failed to capitalise on the 49-run second-wicket stand between opener Martin Guptill and Azhar Mahmood as they ended on 124 for eight in their stipulated 20 overs. Perth clawed their way back into the match with four quick strikes in the middle overs.

Beer comes to party

Left-arm spinners Michael Beer and Brad Hogg and pacer Joe Mennie shared bulk of the spoils between them. Beer was the stand-out performer as the Victorian finished with impressive figures of three for 13. For Auckland,Guptill top-scored with 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 with the bat.

Auckland were off to a bad start as they lost opener Lou Vincent (2) early into the innings. Guptill and Mahmood took the team past 50-run mark with their defiant 49-run stand but once both were separated,the New Zealand T20 champions lost the plot and from a comfortable position of 61 for one were left struggling at 75 for five 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.

Earlier,an impressive bowing effort by pacer Michael Bates helped Aces restrict Scorchers to a score of 140 for seven. Bates finished with an impressive figures of 4 for 34. Beaton (22) and Paul Collingwood (38) resurrected the Scorchers innings after they were left reeling at 67 for three in 12 overs. They put up a much needed 36-ball 51-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Brief scores: Perth Scorchers: 140 for 7 in 20 overs (Paul Collingwood 38,Marcus North 37; Michael Bates 4/34) vs Auckland Aces: 124 for eight in 20 overs (Martin Guptill 36; Michael Beer 3/13)

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