Pietersen marches on Champions League



First published in International

The Perth Scorchers crashed out of the Champions League Twenty20 with a three-wicket defeat to the Delhi Daredevils in Cape Town.

The Western Australian side valiantly attempted to defend a below-par 121 for five against an all-star Daredevils batting line-up that included Virender Sehwag, ex-Hampshire star Kevin Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene.

And while they claimed wickets at regular intervals, Virender Sehwag's 52 from 44 balls proved pivotal as the Daredevils fell across the line in the final over.

The Indian side's win meant they moved to the brink of qualifying for the quarter-finals, having now won two and suffered a rain off in their three games.

Morne Morkel prevented the Scorchers from finding any momentum in their innings as the South Africa quick grabbed three for 19, including the early wicket of Herschelle Gibbs (six).

Shaun Marsh (39) and Hampshire’s Simon Katich (34) added 73 for the second wicket but the Scorchers failed to kick on as Morkel returned to remove big hitters Mitch Marsh (20) and Luke Ronchi (two).

The Daredevils were in early trouble in their chase as Jayawardene, Pietersen and Ross Taylor all failed to reached double figures but it was Sehwag, playing a more subdued role than normal, who provided the backbone.

The opener reached his half-century, having only cleared the ropes once, before he slashed Nathan Rimmington to Joe Mennie on the fence.

That left the Daredevils on 96 for six, and needing 26 from as many balls, but tailender Pawan Negi saw them home when he drove Rimmington to the ropes with three balls left.

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