Katich inspires NSW to an easy win
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
Scorecard:Eagles v New South Wales
Player:R McLaren, SR Clark, SM Katich
Event:Champions League 2009/10

DateLine: 9th October 2009


A stroke-filled fifty from Katich and a strong bowling performance lead by the miserly Stuart Clark condemned Diamond Eagles to a 53 run defeat. Chasing 145 to win, Diamond Eagles struggled against a strong bowling attack that featured four bowlers of international repute as they limped to just 91 runs in their stipulated 20 overs.


Katich had little hesitation in electing to bat first after winning the toss and found himself in the middle off the action after the early dismissal off Philip Hughes. The southpaw looked in no trouble whatsoever as he found the boundaries at regular intervals. du Preez was send to the boundary ropes thrice in an over while McLaren was flicked to distraction by the in-form Katich as New South Wales was off to a strong start. While Katich looked in complete command, Warner could not adjust to the slow and low nature off the pitch as he struggled to get the ball off the square with ease. Though he collected four boundaries in the powerplay, once the field was spread out the diminutive left-hander struggled to keep the pace with his skipper.


Thandi Tshabalala's offspin and Ryan Bailey's military medium-pace slowed down the NSW innings and finally with Warner running out of patience he swung wildly at a Bailey delivery only to be cleaned up. That wicket terminated a 79 run partnership which took 10.5 overs. Katich meanwhile reached a superb half-century off 37 balls which included six well timed boundaries and a couple off well-struck maximums. Katich was dismissed before he could inflict more damage to the Eagles when he chipped van Schalkwyk to long-off. Though Henriques and Rohrer added 42 in four overs which included some clean hits over the boundary, tight bowling and quick wickets towards the end hindered NSW's advance to a massive total.


Eagles in reply got off to the worst possible start when Lee trapped Rossouw plumb before the stumps to hand the Eagles the first blow. McLaren looked in complete control in his short innings but a superb run-out effected by Katich cut short his innings and 14 for 2 became 14 for 3 when van Wyk mistimed a slower ball from Clark to midwicket where Hughes picked up a superb low catch. Skipper Dippenaar could not replicate the heroisms of his opposite number as he departed without doing much off an accurate Clark. Hauritz then joined the party when he had Elgar stumped to reduce Eagles to 24 for 5 in 6.3 overs and a huge defeat looked very much on the cards.


The South African club's innings slide further into the mire when a direct hit from Bollinger send back Bailey and the scoreboard read a sorry 36 for 6 in 9.5 overs. The wickets continued to tumble in a heap and finally when the stipulated 20 overs were bowled Eagles could manage only 91 for the loss off nine wickets.


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