Auckland Aces v Perth Scorchers, CLT20, Group A, Centurion October 23, 2012

Auckland eliminated after failing to chase 141


Perth Scorchers 140 for 7 (Collingwood 38, Bates 4-34) beat Auckland Aces 124 for 8 (Beer 3-13) by 16 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Auckland Aces needed to win their last group game to stay in contention for a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League. They didn't do it. Their bowlers did their bit, by restricting Perth Scorchers to a par score on a two-paced pitch, but their batsmen started too slowly and, once there was a slump, the ground conceded was too expansive to recover.

Titans were watching Auckland crash out of the competition from the stands in Centurion, and began their warm-ups for the evening game knowing their semi-final berth, and that of their opponents Delhi Daredevils, was safe.

Auckland struggled to get away to a swift start in their pursuit of 141. The Perth quicks bowled tight lines and lengths and Martin Guptill and Lou Vincent took few risks. They had scored only nine in the first three overs. The rising asking rate eventually led to Vincent charging and slashing at Ryan Duffield, and edging to the keeper. Auckland were 12 for 1 after 3.5 overs.

Guptill was joined by Auckland's MVP, Azhar Mahmood, and together they put the chase back on track. Mahmood swept, cut and drove Paul Collingwood to the boundary in the eighth over and Guptill pulled and slog-swept Brag Hogg's chinaman offerings for a four and a six.

At 61 for 1 after nine overs, Auckland were on course, when Guptill had a brain fade. He charged the left-arm spinner Michael Beer, and though he was beaten by flight and turn, he went through with his slog and nicked to Luke Ronchi. Beer took out Mahmood in his next over, caught by a diving Herschelle Gibbs at cover. Those wickets slowed Auckland down again and they managed only 31 runs between the 10th and 16th overs.

There was a spark of hope when Colin Munro helped Auckland take 15 runs off the 17th over from Nathan Coulter-Nile, but that was snuffed out quickly. Beer finished with 3 for 13 and was supported by Joe Mennie, who's dismissal of Munro was the end of the contest.

When the game began, however, Auckland were full of hope despite being without the injured Andre Adams and losing the toss. Perth, who were already out of the competition, had left out the Marsh brothers, Shaun and Mitchell, for reasons unknown.

Perth were only 30 for 1 at the end of the fielding restrictions and Marcus North and Simon Katich went about infusing the innings with momentum. North charged and swung the spinner Ronnie Hira over wide long-on for the innings' first six in the tenth over, and Katich added a boundary two balls later. Fifteen runs came off that Hira over but it ended with North being run out by a direct hit from Mills. Katich was bowled by Hira's next ball, in the 12th over, and Perth had new batsmen in Paul Collingwood, playing his first game, and Tom Beaton at the crease.

Collingwood batted busily, finding the boundary regularly, and Beaton laid into Colin de Grandhomme with slogs over and through midwicket. The run rate had touched seven an over at the end of the 16th and Perth were well placed for an aggressive finish. Michael Bates and Mahmood, however, were on target during the last four overs, allowing only 28 off them.

Auckland would have been satisfied with a target of 141 during the changeover, but their batsmen started too slowly. Perth knocked out New Zealand's T20 champions and earned their only win of the tournament.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on October 24, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    @John Ide - no use matey, they all seriously want more IPL teams! The reality is, even with teams having to hand over their best players - the IPL sides have been quite poor this year. It's funny that only 1 IPL side has qualified for the semis, & they did that on the side of the draw where most washouts occurred. Anyways, I'd rather we just send a bunch of no-names & any centrally contracted player is not allowed to play. I like the concept of the Champ League, but the timing this year is woeful.

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    Rahul17 is correct, Let 7 IPL teams in and maybe allow one Saffer and one Aussie team in and the rest of the world can have a little contest at their own expense to choose the tenth team. Oh and any IPL side that likes the look of a Saffer or Aussie can automatically pick that player in their team to warm the bench, thus ensuring the CHAMPION contest is "evenly matched" as any Aussie or Saffer team will be gutted of any decent players. So while Watto, Warner, Smith, Henriques, Haddin, Cummings and Starc sit on DD bench, their replacements can battle against a team stacked with 4 internation captains. Its only fair, huh! :)

  • Shane on October 23, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    @Rahul17_1983 - lol, thanks for that. However, I of course need to point out that both teams ended with identical records in the tournament, apart from the fact that Auckland won 2 qualifying games first. If not for poor weather, they may well have finished above KKR (or below). So to claim some kind of massive gulf exists is clearly just not accurate. Having said that, I also agree that the CL's attempts to be a true Champion's League are a bit embarrassing. Few people in the cricketing world take this tournament seriously, because of that fact that it IS run on a purely financial basis. It should really be called something like "IPL part 2". The beauty of the football quivalent is that the champions all get to participate on equal terms. This competition just tells us that the Indian, Australia and South African boards are afraid of being beaten by teams from "weaker" nations - so they rig the competition in their favour to ensure one of their teams win.

  • Rahul on October 23, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    @shane-oh : Sorry sir I am not talking abt a single match but about the complete group standing which is determined by 4 matches a side.One gud match of Auckland don't place them above KKR in standings.Its like.if Ireland defeat England and England defeats Aus .It doesnot mean Ireland is better than Aus.

  • Rahul on October 23, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    @anton111 :I think u r hitting the bullls eye.Only small change.There shuld be 3 Aus ,3 SA and 4 IPL teams only.No other teams shuld b there in CL T20.As financially they are not supporting this tournament.In this way it will also stop the critisism of the countries who all r saying y they r nt in group stages.Keep it simple.Those who pay for the tournament shuld be there.This league shuld be viewed from financial prespective

  • Shane on October 23, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    @Rahul17_1983 - absolutely. KKR smashed Auckland on net RR after losing to them when they played. You certainly have a knack for interpreting things in any way that suits you sir!

  • Tushar on October 23, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Delhi are the only unbeaten team in the group... So please do not comment on the IPL teams just on the basis of 1-2 performances... Even KKR showed what they are made of beating the so called 'form team' titans by 100runs, and that too, without even a single batsman scoring 50. That shows the quality of ipl sides

  • Antonio on October 23, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    @Rahul, Totally agree IPL is justified in having 4 teams in CL. Next year this number must be increased to 6 with 2 IPL teams having direct entry into semis to make CL even more competitive.

  • Rahul on October 23, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    both the qualifiers teams are at the bottom of their respective groups.This completly justifies IPL of having 4 teams in CL T20.IPL teams are way ahead to any qualifier teams.It at least makes CL competitive.And not boring one sided because of the qualifier teams.

  • Geoffrey on October 23, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    After watching the bloke bowl have to actually (my keyboarding fingers will turn black) agree with RandyOz- Coulter-Nile should be in the test side. Wealth of quick bowlers in Australia at the moment.

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