Ajit Agarkar’s all-round display backed by a composed half century from Virender Sehwag helped Delhi Daredevils beat Perth Scorchers by three wickets and move a step closer to a semifinal berth in the Champions League Twenty20 here on Sunday.
After Delhi’s pace duo of Morne Morkel and man of the match Agarkar restricted Scorchers to 121 for five in 20 overs,the Daredevils struggled despite Sehwag’s half century but finally reached the target in 19.3 overs.
The win took Delhi to 10 points from three matches and gave them a good chance of qualifying while the defeat meant end of the road for Scorchers.
Sehwag played an innings of 52 off 44 balls where he was restrained and ready to wait for the loose deliveries as he hit only four boundaries and a six.
The shot which brought up his half century was a lucky shot when his upper cut slipped from Nathan Rimmington’s hands to go for a six.
However,Rimmington made amends as he came on to bowl in the next over,removing both Irfan Pathan (14) and Sehwag to reduce Delhi from a relatively comfortable 94 for four to 96 for six.
Agarkar,who bowled beautifully,then came to the party and hit a couple of boundaries under pressure and his 11 not out proved to be priceless in the end.
Needing 8 off the final over,Agarkar hit a cover drive off Rimmington and then took a single as Negi took the strike.
Needing three from four balls,young Negi blasted Rimmington through the mid-wicket for a four much to the delight of his dug-out.
Earlier,a fine performance by Morkel,and Agarkar helped Delhi restrict Scorchers to a modest 121 for five in 20 overs.
While Morkel had the best figures of 3/19 in his four overs,credit should be given to Agarkar who bowled splendidly in the middle overs getting two wickets and giving away only 14 runs in the process.
Umesh Yadav didn’t get any wicket but kept things tight with figures of 0/24 in four overs.
Herschelle Gibbs got a six with a pull-shot off Irfan Pathan but was played on when Morne Morkel climbed up a bit more than the batsman expected.
Veteran left-hander Simon Katich tucked Morkel off his hips over deep fine leg area for a boundary and then hit Pathan over point for a six.
The powerplay fetched Scorchers 34 runs but Shaun Marsh’s initial struggle was there for all to see. It took him 25 balls to score the first 15 runs but then in the company of Katich,started growing in confidence.
A pull shot off Ajit Agarkar brought up the 50 for the team in the ninth over. Their half century partnership came off 50 balls.
After adding 73 runs for the second wicket,Marsh was back in the pavilion when his mistimed pull shot was taken by Virender Sehwag stationed at the mid-wicket. Marsh made 39 off 41 balls with six fours.
From 84 for two,it soon became 87 for three when Katich was brilliantly caught by Jayawardene off Agarkar’s bowling.
Katich contributed 34 off 33 balls with two fours and a six.