Match facts

Saturday, September 20, 2014
Start time 1600 local (1030 GMT)

Big picture

Nine of the 15 Perth Scorchers players are 25 or younger. That tally is eight for Dolphins. Their experience in Indian conditions is minimal. Only two of them - Mitchell Marsh and Ashton Agar - have played for an international side. Mohali might not play host to the George Clooneys of T20 cricket, but those keen on the next generation should have a good night out.

Dolphins and Scorchers arrive at the Champions League after winning their respective T20 competitions. Both teams' successes were built on being better than the sum of their parts. But that has taken a hit. Scorchers have lost their top-scorer, opener and captain Simon Katich to retirement. David Miller adds to Kings XI Punjab's batting muscle, not Dolphins'.

So Craig Simmons, who snatched the title of fastest centurion in the Big Bash will look to pick up some slack. More so considering Scorchers will need to find a new opening partner for him with Katich gone and Shaun Marsh injured. Responsibility will also weigh heavily on Morne van Wyk, the Dolphins captain, who sits 366 runs above anyone else on the all-time run-getters list in South African domestic T20.

One area where both teams are well stocked is the bowling. Brad Hogg, at 43, continues to challenge batsmen, and had an economy rate of 6.19 in the BBL. Yasir Arafat, the Pakistan allrounder, has accumulated several frequent flier miles for his variations at the death, or in Super Overs. Dolphins balance that with Robbie Frylinck, who successfully defended 14 runs in the last over of the Ram Slam T20 final. Kyle Abbott has long been an understudy with South Africa. And they also have 20-year old tearaway Daryn Dupavillon.

Form guide

Dolphins WWLWW (most recent first, completed matches only)
Perth Scorchers WWLWW

Watch out for

It is the BBL final. In walks Mitchell Marsh, dabs a couple of balls almost as a courtesy before flicking on the nitrous oxide. He finished with 37 off 12, the Scorchers hurtled from 140 for 2 in the 17th over to 191 for 4 and Hobart Hurricanes were too winded to recover. Since the start of the year, he has produced a double-century to lift Australia A from the doldrums and has been catapulted into the centre of Australia's plans for the future. It is a safe bet that he will have a similar responsibility with the Scorchers.

Wedging himself into a pace attack of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander is a tough job but Kyle Abbott managed a decent account of himself in the Tests against Australia and in the Zimbabwe tri-series. With Dolphins he is a certainty, and he will look to strike with the new ball, contain in the slog overs and hopefully replicate his level of performance in the Ram Slam T20 last season, finishing as joint second-top wicket-taker.

Stats and trivia

  • Brad Hogg has played 83 T20s after his 40th birthday, more than any other player. Two other players have played 50+ T20s after turning 40 - Sanath Jayasuriya (51) and Muttiah Muralitharan (52)
  • Dolphins have only three capped players - Morne van Wyk, Kyle Abbot and Vaughn van Jaarsveld. Every other team in the tournament has more capped players.


"There is not one [player] in particular. We won the tournament back home where everybody contributed. We need everyone to chip in and that will be okay."
Dolphins coach Lance Klusener lays out his plan for the Champions League

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo