Winless Scorchers Playing For Pride

Source: AFP/theaustralian.com.au
Herschelle Gibbs has been a big disappointment for Perth. Source: AFP/theaustralian.com.au
The Perth Scorchers  will be looking to finish their disastrous Champions League T20 campaign with a win when they meet the Auckland Aces  at Centurion on Tuesday night. Despite finishing at runners-up in the Big Bash League, the Scorchers have failed to win a game in South Africa, suffering defeats to the Titans and Delhi, while the match against Kolkata was abandoned due to rain.

With a highest team total of just 124 in its two completed innings, it is obvious that Perth needs to score more runs to win against Auckland. Perth’s much vaunted batsman have hardly prospered in the tournament, with opening pair Herschelle Gibbs and Shaun Marsh particularly disappointing. Gibbs has scored just 25 runs from his three visits to the crease in his homeland, while Marsh has failed to register a big score despite making a start in both of his past two innings. Only Mitch Marsh has passed fifty for the Scorchers in the competition and Simon Katich is the sole player to have a contributed 100 runs or more.

Despite having to come through the qualifiers, the Auckland Aces remain in contention for a place in the Champions League T20 semi-finals going into their final group game. A win won’t necessarily ensure a berth in the final four however, with the New Zealand based team needing other results to go their way in order to qualify. Azhar Mahmood has starred for the Kiwi side in the tournament to date, with two half centuries and ten wickets from just four matches. He will play a pivotal role for the Aces again, as will opening batsman Martin Guptill and Lou Vincent. Both have made starts throughout the tournament, but much like Perth’s opening pair, need to go on with it in order to put their team in a position to win the match.

Victoria defeated Central Districts by 7 wickets two years ago in the only meeting between sides from Australia and New Zealand at the Champions League T20.

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