The West

Mitch pushes up the order for Scorchers
Mitch Marsh. Pic: Getty Images

Light has been shed on the future shape of the Perth Scorchers and Warriors with Mitch Marsh's promotion up the batting order foreshadowing a permanent move.

Marsh was only five not out in Perth's 2-91 when a spectacular lightning strike and torrential rain ended the game against Kolkata Knight Riders after the first 14 overs.

The wash-out means Perth stay alive in the Champions League, but the Scorchers will have to win both remaining matches, against Delhi Daredevils (in Cape Town on Sunday) and Auckland Aces (Centurion on Tuesday), to have any hope of qualifying for the semifinals.

While Shaun Marsh was more positive with his footwork than he had been this season and was rewarded with an extended stay in the middle, his younger brother's promotion indicated a significant change of heart in the Perth camp.

Captain Marcus North indicated more responsibility would fall on the 20-year-old's shoulders.

"There are two ways to use him in the game. He can be very effective at the back end of innings on these small grounds with his natural hitting power, but if we get off to a good start I would rather he get in early and have more time," North said.

"It rewards us if we can get off to a good start. He has got a bit of a floating role, but if we are none for after six or seven overs there is every chance he will bat No.3."

Although Perth were scoring at fewer than seven an over when the rain came, North said his batsmen had played their roles in building a foundation that should have led to a score approaching 150.

The loss of Herschelle Gibbs in the opening over to a soft poke to cover allowed Simon Katich the opportunity to blossom with an unbeaten 43 off 32 balls.

Shaun Marsh started brightly but was suffocated by the experienced seam attack of Jacques Kallis and Lakshmi Balaji, whose cutters and changes of pace were well suited to the worn pitch.

Marsh compiled 38 off 40 balls and teamed up with Katich in a 70-run stand in 10 overs that steered Perth into a competitive position.

"Our game plan was clear, we wanted to have wickets in the bank and we batted beautifully to set up a winning score," North said.

"It would have been very interesting to see what would have happened if we had got to 140 or so.

"I think 140 plus was a really competitive score because the pitch was slowing up, but if you have a good start you can score anything."

Shaun Marsh was in control against Brett Lee and Sunil Narine early in the innings, helped hammer Yusuf Pathan for 17 in an over and battled hard later on.

"He (Marsh) has been hitting the ball well at training, working pretty hard and he just needed to get 10 or 15 runs to get his timing going and remind himself how good a player he is," North said.

The West Australian

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