Delhi v Perth, Group B, CLT20, Cape Town October 21, 2012

A monster hit, and Pietersen's old problem

Plays of the day for the Champions League match between Delhi Daredevils and Perth Scorchers in Cape Town

The high ball

In a relatively low-scoring match, the biggest hit of the day didn't even clear the boundary. Mitchell Marsh got more hang time than Michael Jordan on a skied hoick off Morne Morkel in the 19th over. Marsh's shot, towards the Wynberg end, rocketed up into the low cloud scudding across the ground and hung in the air interminably before finally falling back down to earth. Or rather, into Kevin Pietersen's hands. Had Marsh been hitting towards the Kelvin Grove End, with the wind behind him, the shot would almost certainly have gone for six.

The no-ball

Agarkar's plucky batting was needed at the death by Delhi after Naman Ojha's dismissal, caught behind off Nathan Coulter-Nile's fourth delivery in the 18th over. Ojha might have been out off the second ball, as what appeared to be a thin edge was pouched by the keeper and the Scorchers went up in unison. Asad Rauf wouldn't give it out, and two deliveries later it appeared justice had been served when a thick edge was caught by a diving Luke Ronchi. Ojha stood his ground as the umpires checked for a no-ball, but Coulter-Nile's heel was behind the line and he was sent on his way. What the umpires, including third umpire Marais Erasmus, apparently failed to spot, however, was that the bowler's back foot had traversed the return crease. The delivery should have been called a no-ball, and been followed by a free hit. Agarkar's batting ensured that the outcry over the controversy was minimal.

The (obligatory) left-arm spinner

It would take a stats-hunt of Zaltsman-esque depth to uncover just how many times Pietersen has fallen to left-arm spin in his career. Did his brother Bryan bowl left-arm spin in their backyard in Pietermaritzburg all those years ago? Does the Union of Left-arm Spinners know something we don't? Pietersen, who'd kickstarted his innings with an authoritative punch through mid-on off Joe Mennie, leapt down the wicket to Michael Beer's fourth ball - head in the air and legs akimbo - only to skew a thick edge to Shaun Marsh at short third-man and become yet another notch on a left-arm orthodox bedpost.

The big, repeated appeal

The Scorchers threatened a fightback when Beer nipped Ross Taylor out for his second wicket in the 10th over, but it took more than one appeal for the umpire to agree to send the batsman on his way. Beer had fired down an arm-ball which struck Taylor on the left pad in front of middle and leg, sparking an immediate appeal. Asad Rauf was unmoved, so Beer fired another question the umpire's way. With the batsmen itching to steal a single, Beer started to run towards the ball, which had rolled towards cover, before asking 'how's that?' a third time. Eventually, Rauf's finger went up.

The comeback

Nathan Rimmington, whose cropped hair and unruly beard give him the look of a nightclub bouncer - or rather, the bloke about to get into a scrap with one - fluffed a simple chance to get rid of Virender Sehwag with the game in the balance in the 15th over. Sehwag had uppercut the other Nathan - Coulter-Nile -- flat and hard towards third man, where Rimmington came in too far and could only parry the ball over the rope as he jumped backwards. Rimmington was immediately tossed the ball by his captain and asked to make up for his error, which he did in some style. An over later, both Sehwag and Irfan Pathan had been removed and Delhi were 96 for 6.

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town

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