Sussex, Eagles lock horn in make-or-break tie

Sussesx Sharks and Diamond Eagles will hurl themselves at each other's throat for a win that would prise open the Super Eight door for them in the CLT20.

updated: October 13, 2009 17:54 IST
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New Delhi:

United in their plight and their back against the wall, Sussesx Sharks and Diamond Eagles will hurl themselves at each other's throat for a win that would prise open the Super Eight door for them in the Champions League Twenty20 here on Tuesday.

Both throughly outplayed in their respective Group B openers against a markedly superior New South Wales, it's fairly an uncomlpicated situation where the winners would breeze into Super Eight and the losers catch an early home-bound flight.

The Eagles, under Boeta Dippenaar, would have to pull up their socks if they are to extend their stay in the high-profile tournament.

Dippenaar was critical of the Ferozeshah Kotla track's uneven bounce but the fact is, it remains same for all the sides and there would be no place for similar excuse tomorrow.

On a tricky pitch, Eagles bowlers did not really set alight the tournament even though they restricted NSW to a mdoest 144 for six. Among their bowlers, Victor Mpitsang impressed against NSW, as did Shadly van Schalkwyk and tomorrow they would have to put up an improved show.

Eagles batsmen, in contrast, have been a huge let down with the glorious exception of Ryan McLaren, whose gritty 37-ball 40 was one of the two double digit scores against NSW.

Dippenaar himself needs to lead from the front, more so because of his familiarity with the Indian conditions.

Not that Sussex has done any better and losing regular captain Michael Yardy due to stomach cramps did not help their cause against NSW yesterday.

The lack of penetration in their bowling unit has been the bane of the English side and even though they restricted NSW to 130, they could claim just two wickets, which is not a flattering statement on their bowlers, including Indian leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and Pakistani pacer Yasir Arafat.

Their batting has been equally lacklustre. Chris Nash got the start against NSW but lacked aggression, stand-in skipper Ed Joyce did not trouble the scorer at all and Joe Gatting proved he has miles to go before coming anywhere close to his uncle Mike.

By and large, the battle between the desperate minnows promises to be an even fight and whoever raises their game tomorrow will have the last laugh.

Teams (From):

Sussex Sharks: Michael Yardy (c), Will Beer, Ben Brown, Piyush Chawla, Joe Gatting, Rory Hamilton-Brown, Andy Hodd (wk), Ed Joyce, Chad Keegan, James Kirtley, Robin Martin-Jenkins, Chris Nash, Dwayne Smith, Luke Wright and Yasir Arafat.

Diamond Eagles: Boeta Dippenaar (c), Ryan Bailey, Jandre Coetzee, Cornelius de Villiers, Dillon du Preez, Dean Elgar, Reeza Hendricks, Alan Kruger, Adrian McLaren (wk), Ryan McLaren, Victor Mpitsang, Rilee Rossouw, Thandi Tshabalala, Shadley van Schalkwyk and Morne van Wyk.