Delhi look to seal their semi-final berth
by Asher Wilson

Scorecard:Titans v Delhi Daredevils
Event:Champions League 2012/13

DateLine: 23rd October 2012


Delhi Daredevils v Titans
Match Preview
Champions League T20 2012


After other IPL teams crashed out of Champions League T20, Delhi Daredevils look to seal their semi-final berth on Tuesday in the last group match against South Africa's Titans at Centurion. The only IPL team left in contention, Delhi Daredevils will aim to win this match and stay at the top but will face a stiff challenge from home favourites Titans.


Delhi huffed and puffed their way to a narrow win over Perth Scorchers in their previous match, going atop the table in the process with 10 points. Titans, beaten comprehensively by laggards Kolkata Knight Riders in their last match, are second in the standings with 8 points.


Both the teams are best-placed to advance from the group and the result will decide which of the two finishes better in the points table. The two sides head into the encounter with their confidence shaken in a contrasting manner. While Delhi's batting depth was tested to the core by the ousted Perth Scorchers, Titans were quite literally demolished by another ousted side, KKR.


In pursuit of 122, Delhi lost Mahela Jayawardene, Unmukt Chand, Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor to single-digit scores and it was left to Virender Sehwag to steer the team through. In fact, Sehwag getting a good knock was a big positive for Delhi and the batsman himself. The 34-year-old batted sensibly, held one end firm and ensured that he did just enough to steer Delhi. Another positive for Delhi was veteran all-rounder Ajit Agarkar, who was named man of the match for his fine display. His economical four overs fetched Delhi a couple of wickets and cost only 14 runs. South African pacer Morne Morkel was also quite a success as far as bowling miserly was concerned even though he did not take any wickets.


The pitch will have a lot in it for the bowlers. Irfan Pathan can trouble the Titans with his swing, just as Laxmipathy Balaji did in the previous game. Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav will get decent bounce. They may choose to bowl Pietersen before Negi as he is a tall man and will get both turn and bounce. Ajit Agarkar's spell will be crucial to the outcome of the game.


The Titans, on the other hand, were mauled by KKR. Chasing 189, they folded for 89 with just three of their batsmen managing double-digit scores. The opening pair of Jacques Rudolph and Henry Davids has given their team good starts in the first two matches as they added 104 against the Perth Scorchers and then followed it up with a stand of 74 against the Auckland Aces.


Their batsmen were troubled by both swing and spin. A lot will depend on how their top order performs in what may become a must win game for them. Henry Davids and Jacques Rudolph should look to settle down and then accelerate rather than trying to cut loose right from the start. Their middle order is pretty strong and familiar with the conditions. However, they cannot afford to play many dot balls as this results in building more pressure and in turn the fall of wickets going foe runs later.


Their failure against KKR proved quite decisive and they will have to come good to have any chance of upstaging Delhi. Key pacer Alfonso Thomas, who went for 52 runs against KKR, also needs to get his act together as Delhi has a devastating batting line-up capable of tearing apart the best of attacks. Alfonso Thomas has loads of experience and can contain the opposition well.


The good thing for the Titans' bowlers is that the Delhi are facing some problems and are pretty out of touch owing to the long gap they have had in between games. They should capitalize on this and try to bowl as many dot balls as they can. Ethy Mbhalati and Cornelius de Villiers will get good bounce from the pitch. Roelof van der Merwe has been their star so far and should look to continue the same. He is a brilliant fielder as well.


Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardena, Ajit Agarkar, Unmukt Chand, Morne Morkel, Pawan Negi, Naman Ojha, Irfan Pathan, Kevin Pietersen, Andre Russell, Aavishkar Salvi, Virender Sehwag, Ross Taylor, Venugopal Rao, David Warner, Umesh Yadav.


Titans: Martin van Jaarsveld, Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, AB de Villiers, Cornelius de Villiers, Paul Harris, Heino Kuhn, Eden Links, Ethy Mbhalati, Mangaliso Mosehle, Rowan Richards, Jacques Rudolph, Alfonso Thomas, Roelof van der Merwe, David Wiese.

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2012 Pakistan Cricket Website)


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