CRICKET / Scorchers needs to win to have any chance of staying afloat

A star-studded Delhi Daredevils will be up against the experience of Perth Scorchers in its bid to close in on a semifinal berth when the two sides clash in a Group ‘A’ match of the Champions League Twenty20 here on Sunday.

After winning the tournament-opener, second-placed Delhi was left to warm the benches as rain washed out its second game against Auckland Aces in Johannesburg on Friday night.

Perth Scorchers, on the other hand, is at the bottom of the heap with a loss and a couple of points from Thursday’s wash-out.

It desperately needs to win to have any chance of staying afloat in the tournament.

Delhi dominated its IPL counterpart Kolkata Knight Riders on the first day of the competition.

Though the batsmen didn’t put up the best show, the team posted a competitive total, which its pace quartet successfully defended.

In David Warner, skipper Mahela Jayawardene, Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor, the Delhi Daredevils have four proven match-winners.

Add to the mix, teen sensation Unmukt Chand and Delhi seem to have five impact players.

Lethal attack

The bowling attack too is lethal and capable of giving the best batting line-ups sleepless nights. Morne Morkel’s ability to generate bounce and knowledge of local conditions, makes him quite a handful.

Irfan Pathan has regained some of his lost touch and the young Umesh Yadav has also been relishing the conditions in South Africa.

The Perth Scorchers, meanwhile, will look to its top order to do the bulk of the run-scoring.

In Herschelle Gibbs, Marcus North and Shaun Marsh, Perth has a lot of firepower and experience at the top.

While Gibbs was the second-highest run-getter for it in the Big Bash League campaign, behind Mitchell Marsh’s tally of 309 runs, skipper North was not too far behind with an aggregate of 273 runs in eight innings.

The bowling department lacks a big name except for the veteran spinner Brad Hogg and for this reason alone, the batsmen will have to set the match for them.

The teams (from): Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Ajit Agarkar, Unmukt Chand, Morne Morkel, Pawan Negi, Naman Ojha, Irfan Pathan, Kevin Pietersen, Andre Russell, Aavishkar Salvi, Virender Sehwag, Ross Taylor, Venugopala Rao, David Warner and Umesh Yadav.

Perth Scorchers: Marcus North (captain), Tom Beaton, Michael Beer, Paul Collingwood, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ryan Duffield, Ben Edmondson, Herschelle Gibbs, Brad Hogg, Simon Katich, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Nathan Rimmington and Luke Ronchi.

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